A group of teenagers spent a week cleaning up the River Adur and Worthing beach, picking up litter to raise funds and support for the Marine Conservation Society.
Root16 is a group of 14 young people aged 15 to 16 taking part in the National Citizen Service programme this summer, with 30 hours of volunteering required for the course.
The team set off from Adur Canoe Club on Wednesday morning to collect litter from the river on a canoe-led clean.
Strong currents meant the group had to turn around and stop their litter pick early, but they more than made up for it with clean-ups along the beach last Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
Jamie Fennessy, 16, said: “We were surprised by how much litter we found, including loads of facial wipes which was bizarre.
“It was a really tiring week, but it was such a good experience and we are all really happy with how much we raised.”
Fundraising totals reached £335 less than a day after they began collecting money, smashing their original target of £250, and they have successfully raised more than £600 so far.
Jamie added: “It was so shocking. We really did not expect it. We have spoken to the Marine Conservation Society and they are so grateful.
“After discussing in the group what charity we wanted to support, we chose them because we all love living near the sea and beach so wanted to help out.”
The week of litterpicking concluded their four-week National Citizen Service journey, which included an adventure week at PGL in Shrewsbury and a week staying at University of Brighton halls of residence, before spending a week planning their volunteering.
As well as raising money, the activities led to new friendships and the members of the team all feel more confident and independent than when they started the four-week course.
The Marine Conservation Society is a charity dedicated to protecting seas, shores and wildlife. The charity works to ensure that the rich wildlife of the seas can be restored, that fish stocks can recover and beaches and bathing waters can become cleaner.
To donate to the Root16 fundraising effort, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/root16