Sheffield youngsters splash about on the river in holiday fun

L-R: Dearna Blackwood, Tori Shatwell and Tianna Adams (all aged 11) 'take to the water at Whiteley Woods
L-R: Dearna Blackwood, Tori Shatwell and Tianna Adams (all aged 11) 'take to the water at Whiteley Woods
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Girls from a Sheffield housing estate headed off for a wild weekend - and enjoyed a host of outdoor activities.

The 20 youngsters from the Manor and Castle area spent three days and two nights at the Outdoor Activity Centre at Whiteley Woods, Fulwood.

L-R: Dearna Blackwood, Tori Shatwell and Tianna Adams (all aged 11) 'take to the water at Whiteley Woods

L-R: Dearna Blackwood, Tori Shatwell and Tianna Adams (all aged 11) 'take to the water at Whiteley Woods

The eight to 16-year-olds took part in archery, canoeing and pioneering, which involves working together to build bridges, rafts and other structures.

They spent the two nights in the self-catering cabin-style dormitories provided at the centre.

The project was part of an annual programme of youth projects organised by Manor Castle Development Trust, who have been running play schemes and youth clubs in the Manor and Castle area for 11 years.

One of the youngsters, Tori Shatwell, aged 11, said: “I was really nervous about going in the water but eventually my confidence grew.

“I had a second go and by the end I was able to stand up in my canoe.”

Dearna Blackwood, also 11, added: “We learned all about working as part of a team.

“I really enjoyed it and I’d really like to have this experience again.”

Tracy Brown, youth activity co-ordinator for Manor Castle Development Trust, said: “Residential events like this are an opportunity to get a whole lot of learning and development achieved in a condensed period.

“This year we are focusing on confidence building and good citizenship.

“As long as we can secure the necessary funding, we try to make this an annual event.”

This year the funding was provided by housing association Guinness Northern Counties.

It meant the trip was free of charge to the youngsters, who earned their places through good behaviour in their community.

Brian Hamlin, community investment manager for Guinness Northern Counties, said: “The girls have had a really great weekend here, working together and having a lot of fun.

“They’ve had a real taste of outdoor life and they’ve learned about teamwork.

“They’ve helped to cook their own meals and been responsible for keeping their dormitory clean and tidy, but everyone has got stuck in.”