Sammy Ameobi and Paul Dummett

Magpies duo Sammy Ameobi and Paul Dummett have teamed up to help local youngsters transform an area of Newcastle's West End as part of the Newcastle United Foundation's fifth anniversary celebrations.

The Tyneside-born stars got stuck into gardening and painting duties at Burnside Community Hub and Café in West Denton alongside 16 and 17 year-olds taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS), a government-backed national service scheme which is being delivered locally by the Club's official registered charity.

NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity which gives thousands of 16 and 17 year-olds in England the chance to build skills for work and life, while meeting new friends and taking on new challenges in the local community.

As part of the scheme, the Newcastle United Foundation, which uses the power of football to engage with and improve the lives of 47,000 young people and families each year, has helped the youngsters to set up their own makeover project - as well as organising a little help from their United heroes.

Sammy Ameobi, who helped to paint the Hub's exterior before planting shrubs, said: "It's massively important for players to get involved with projects like this.

"I'm from the West End and the area I lived in wasn't that great so it's good to see people making a difference and making the place look great for the whole community.

"These kids are doing something really positive, making a difference and getting to know each other too. The Foundation is doing amazing things in Newcastle and we're proud to play a part."

Steve Mack, senior projects coordinator for the Newcastle United Foundation, said: "People often see just the football side of Newcastle United but the Foundation is showing the region that that we are making things happen where it matters - in communities like this.

"The participants didn't know each other before they joined but they've got really stuck in with a range of activities, including adventure training, work such as murals and urban art and social action activities like today which are helping West Denton.

"It's great to get the players involved. When the children realised Sammy and Paul were coming - two local lads - they were over the moon and it's great to see the lads getting stuck in."

Cassam Azam, one of the NCS participants from Newcastle, said: "It was good to get involved with the players, especially teaching Sammy how to do things like the plants.

"When you read about the project, it might be hard to understand it so the players could see what we have been doing and how it's helping the community.

"NCS has increased my confidence lots. I was quiet when I first came. I didn't think too much about doing the course but I was really bored during the summer and I thought I'd have a go. I didn't know anybody but I started to make friends and I've really enjoyed it."

The NCS participants will have their achievements acknowledged by taking part in a special graduation ceremony at United's St. James' Park stadium on Thursday 15th August, where each will receive a certificate signed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Newcastle United Foundation was founded in August 2008 and has since raised more than £4m, which has been reinvested directly into community sports, health and educational projects which have reached a staggering 139,000 children, young people and families. It now employs 30 full time staff alongside a further 30 sessional coaches.

To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it is working with communities across the region, visit www.nufc.co.uk/foundation or contact Kate Bradley, head of the Newcastle United Foundation, via 07825 890782 or kate.bradley@nufc.co.uk.