National Citizens Service boosts skills

Alan Mak MP at South Downs College meeting youngsters taking part in the National Citizens Service
Alan Mak MP at South Downs College meeting youngsters taking part in the National Citizens Service
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IF YOU hear anyone saying ‘There’s nothing for kids to do’ tell them about the government-backed National Citizens Service (NCS) scheme.

I visited South Downs College recently to meet teenagers taking part, who were an inspiring group.

These determined young people were helping to give something back to society by raising money for homeless charity Two Saints with a sponsored run, row and cycle to Paris using gym equipment.

In total they raised more than £500 for the charity.

The NCS has grown from strength to strength in recent years, providing activities for young people from a range of different backgrounds aged 15 to 17 and helping them learn to work together to achieve success.

Running outside of term time in the spring, summer and autumn the programme has so far helped 200,000 people across the country.

Before the election I voted in parliament to expand this programme, so that by 2021 the NCS will cover 60 per cent of all 16 year olds.

I did this because I believe the NCS is helping to boost social mobility and social engagement, helping young people mix with people from different backgrounds and encouraging them to work together – pushing themselves further than they ever felt possible.

These young people will get to see the power of public service, and not just self-service, with independent statistics showing that 82 per cent of people leave the programme feeling more positive about people from different backgrounds.

Meeting the current cohort of NCS youngsters at South Downs College showed how much of a success the programme has been locally.

On Wednesday, August 9 I’ll be holding my regular constituency drop-in surgery at Havant Tesco Extra from 9.30am to 11am.

Nominations are still open for my Small Business Awards, backed by The News.

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Save the date for my second Older Persons Information Fair on Friday, October 13 at Hayling Community Centre.