A GROUP of ambitious Isleworth teenagers are making history by spearheading the first estate-run Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme in Hounslow.

The 10 youngsters from the Worton Estate will complete the bronze medal of the hugelypopular personal development course by the end of 2008.

The four stages of the initiative, which includes skills, service and physical training sections, will also feature two weekend orientation trips to Chesham in Buckinghamshire.

Isleworth Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) is organising the programme with the help of local councillors and youth worker Kim Dobson.

"It's always been done in school-based groups before - this is the first to be run outside of that," said PC Mike James.

"None of us have done anything like this so it's a lot of work but they're all really keen. They pestered me to get it started so are very up for it."

The SNT advertised the scheme around the Worton Estate earlier this year and after initial interest from around 30 teenagers, ended up with 10 committed participants.

The gang of 15 and 16-year-olds are putting their involvement to good use by dedicating the service section of their programmes to cleaning up the area.

They have devised a three month project to remove fly-tip-ping, graffiti and other rubbish from the estate, which will begin on May3.

"It will be a different place to live which is a really positive out-come," said PC James, who will roll up his sleeves alongside Sgt Kirsty Hayes and PCs Phil Beal and Graham Hallman.

The team are in little doubt of the value of the initiative for the teenagers' futures.

"If there were four people who wanted a job and they had the same qualifications it would definitely give them an advantage.

"It shows team work and communication skills and will increase their choices in life," argued PC James.

The participants - seven boys and three girls - are mainly from the Worton Estate but several also come from nearby Whitton.

Tesco has already shown its support for the scheme by donating £150 towards the costs of the orientation weekends, where the youngsters will walk up to 18km a day.

"Anyone who wants to put forward any donations is more than welcome," added PC James.

To get involved contact the Isleworth SNT on 020 7161 9005.