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Stables volunteer is praised for dedication; RUNNER UP: Shane Surtees.

AFTER years of struggling through lessons, getting into trouble and being excluded, Shane Surtees has found work he loves.

The 15-year-old from Walker, Newcastle, had grown frustrated with school, but was still keen to learn in a more practical way.

It was his interest in horses which inspired him to seek community and volunteer opportunities at Stepney Bank Stables in Byker.

Shane was nominated by Sara Newson, youth development officer at Stepney Bank Stables, who said: "Shane is an enthusiastic and dedicated member of our youth volunteering team.

"He gives up his evenings and weekends to help to care for the horses and supports others as a peer mentor. Shane is a very enthusiastic and energetic young person.

"He gets on with people from all ages and backgrounds and is excellent at welcoming new people. He also helps to provide support and training to new or less confident volunteers.

"Despite being reluctant to learn in traditional classroom settings, Shane works extremely well either one-toone or when learning practically. He has worked hard at addressing literacy issues and has taken part in a reading course here at the stables.

"He is learning to value education and is very keen to acquire equestrian qualifications.

"Shane is currently training for his BHS Stage 1 exam, which is a practical exam in both horse care and riding."

She added: "Few volunteers give as much time or energy as Shane. It is hard to imagine the stables without him."

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ENTHUSIASTIC Shane Surtees
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Dec 16, 2010
Words:249
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