RNAS Culdrose hosted students from Falmouth, Penryn and Mullion secondary schools for the launch of this year’s Citizenship For Life programme.

Now in its third year, the scheme aims to inspire teenagers to achieve greater things in their life by raising their confidence and allowing them to experience different walks of life through visits around the country.

Last Thursday the 12 youngsters from the area who are involved this time were joined by business leaders, military leaders and community figures who will be paired up with individual students as “mentors” over the next 12 months.

All were put through their paces in a series of challenges around the Culdrose naval base, led by one of this year’s mentors Commander John Lea, the executive commander at the base.

The group were shown a working day at the air station and took part in gym sessions with sporting tasks that needed teamwork and initiative. They also paid a visit to 771 Naval Air Search and Rescue Squadron and had an afternoon crawling through cages, simulating casualty evacuation on the fire rescue grounds.

Charlotte Chadwick, the community network manager for Cornwall Council who runs the programme, said: “The programme is designed to take young people on 12 inspirational journeys across a host of different environments and places to study homelessness, health, crime, citizenship, teambuilding and the local economy.”

The programme has already seen impressive results, with one student on a past course getting work experience in a top London restaurant as a chef, while another achieved a place in a business school owned by Peter Jones of BBC TV’s Dragons Den fame.

Citizenship for Life is privately funded by businesses, private investors and other organisations.

This year, for the first time, there is a second programme running in the Newquay area for ten students.