Young volunteers could soon be helping advise other teenagers on issues such as drug and alcohol abuse thanks to a pioneering training scheme.

And Shipley's youth officers believe the teenagers, who are all doing regular voluntary work at Baildon youth clubs, are ideally placed to help their peers.

Funded by Bradford Council's youth service and the Bradford Youth Partnership, the 12-week Young Volunteers Training Course is helping develop the teenagers' leadership skills and providing them with detailed information on youth-related issues. Course tutor and senior youth worker Rais Hassan said eight young people aged 15 to 19, from Shipley and Baildon are taking part.

He said: "Teenagers respond much better to people of their own or similar age and the idea is to train young people with leadership qualities who will then go on and work with their peers. They've been looking at things like drug and alcohol misuse, relationships with the police, First Aid, health and safety issues and activities available to young people such as the Duke of Edinburgh scheme."

"They're already doing voluntary work at various youth clubs one night a week to put what they're learning into practise."

Salt Grammar School student Ali Mughal, 16, one of those taking the course, said: "If we can use our skills to help people who may have gone slightly up the wrong path that's great."

Superintendent David Collins, police chief for the Eccleshill division, added: "It's very encouraging - I think we sometimes underestimate the skills and abilities our young people have."

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