Recently, I had the chance to speak to a group of over 60 young people from Stockport who were taking part in the National Citizens’ Service (NCS) programme.
The NCS was launched by the Government in 2011 as part of the Big Society programme, with the aim of encouraging young people between the ages of 15-17 to get involved with their community and develop key skills.
The young people I spoke to spent the first week of the NCS programme at an outdoor activities centre, where they bonded as a team as they were made to step outside of their comfort zone. After this, they spent a week at Salford University, learning to live independently, and working to develop skills which they then used to organise a social action activity with a local charity.
At the event, there were some great presentations from young people about what they had learned and how they had used their experiences from the NCS programme to benefit their local community. One group had visited the Oak Tree Court Community Centre in Cheadle, where they built relationships with residents and worked to increase their understanding of other generations.
I was delighted to attend this event and I was inspired to see so many young people getting actively involved in their community. The NCS is a great way for our young people to develop skills which will stay with them throughout their lives and it was so encouraging to see so many taking part.