A UNIQUE project aimed at cultivating young voices in Penistone has ended on a real high note.

Aptly titled Young Voices, the scheme has given youngsters a chance to sus out a career in broadcasting.

Along the way, it has helped some young people ‘get back on track’.

After hearing a report on the progress of the scheme over the past year, Penistone ward councillor David Greenhough described its achievements as ‘amazing’.

Funded through Penistone Area Council’s Working Together fund, Young Voices has engaged with Penistone Grammar School to provide work placements for young people wanting to get into the broadcasting industry.

Presenting the final report to the area council, Steve Dobson of Penistone FM said: “The idea was to try to give young people the chance to train as interviewers and/or broadcasters. It has been hard at times to get other organisations on board.

“In the end, we exceeded our target of people taking part by more than 20 per cent - mostly from Penistone Grammar School.

“None of them would have had free training like this anywhere else locally.”

Steve said training had been delivered to 12 youngsters. This had involved presenting or interviewing on Penistone FM; football commentaries; audio and video editing and script work.

“All in all this has been a good year for Penistone FM and a valuable one for our young people,” he said.

Youngsters have also been brought back on track through the scheme.

“Some were going off the rails and that they have been given another chance is thanks to the members of the area council,” said Mr Dobson. “You made it possible. It is a great thing to give children the chance to do

something outside their usual experience.

“Parents and tutors of one girl pleaded with us to continue her training as she has become ‘more rounded’ since taking part.”

As to what happens next: there will be a project concerning young people’s mental health, to set up a safe zone for them to attend.

“I believe there is a need for young people in Penistone to have a voice; to talk about things that might be troubling them,” said Steve.

“So this will form the basis of a new bid for funding.”

Coun John Wilson said: “This is just what we need. Some good outcomes and positive feedback.”

Coun Dave Griffin: “Good to see this has worked well.”

Coun Greenhough said: “It is amazing. We have seen kids with difficulties going on to settle down on a different track. We have changed someone’s life.”

Area council manager Elaine Equeall said: “We have a unique opportunity here for young people with these kind of outcomes. It is just not available anywhere else.”

Chairman Robert Barnard said: “It has been more successful than we ever thought when it was first set up. It can’t have been easy.”