Teenagers who are developing a sensory garden for youngsters with autism have met Copeland's MP to discuss the project.

Trudy Harrison has visited the group of community-minded young people who are taking part in the National Citizen Service.

She joined young people aged between 15 and 17, at Mirehouse Community Gardens in Whitehaven as they develop a sensory garden for children with autism as part of a social action project.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme, which is managed by Inspira, helps young people build work and life skills while taking on new challenges and meeting new people.

Mrs Harrison said: "It was fantastic to meet with Inspira and the most recent participants of NCS North West and hear more about what they have learnt as part of the scheme.

"Programmes like this are essential in equipping young people with the necessary skills needed in later life, as well as helping them to flourish and grow into independent young adults and I applaud Inspira for making it possible in our area.”

The youngsters from across West Cumbria have already completed phase one and two of their scheme.

Phase of the personal development programme sees the teenagers take part in numerous outdoor adventure activities.

The second phase of the programme allows teenagers to develop skills that will be directly useful when living independently.

Mr Harrison met the teenagers, along with staff from Inspira, as they began the third phase ‘social action’, which allows the group to put their new skills into practice.

She added: "NCS North West provides a first insight into independent living, offering essential preparation for the future, but most of all it helps with new friendships, builds confidence and as I found, it is such great fun. I really do recommend young people make the most of this valuable opportunity."