Young citizens get a pat on the back from mayor

Lord Mayor of Portsmouth Cllr Ken Ellcome with Jean and Allan Thompson. Picture: Chris Moorhouse

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YOUNGSTERS who took part in a community support scheme have been thanked at a dinner at Portsmouth Guildhall.

Lord Mayor councillor Lynne Stagg hosted 80 participants of the National Citizen Service, a scheme in which teenagers can develop as individuals and take part in community projects.

Cllr Stagg said: ‘They are a real mixture of kids and they worked together so well.

‘As well as helping the community, it was about making new friends, taking on challenges and finding out about themselves.

‘They’ve done such a fantastic job, so I wanted to invite them to the Guildhall and congratulate them for what they’ve achieved.’

The nationwide scheme was run by Pompey in the Community for the first time last summer and involved about 150 16 and 17-year-olds from across the Portsmouth area.

Pompey in the Community project co-ordinator James Shannon said he was thrilled with the success of the scheme.

He said: ‘It was a rewarding programme and the dinner was a nice chance for them to catch up.

‘It was great to see them again and find out how they’d been getting on.’

Mr Shannon said the programme had three phases.

The first, branded Get Active, involved trips to Weymouth and the Isle of Wight for rock climbing, canoeing and other activities.

In the second phase – Get Involved – the youngsters developed their life skills in workshops and training programs.

In the third phase – Making Your Mark – participants devised social action projects, which included fundraising for The Rowans Hospice, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the Beneficial Foundation.

Mr Shannon said more than 200 teenagers could take part in the National Citizen Service programme this year and about 10 of last year’s participants would be returning as mentors.