It is always a pleasure to commend local graduates of National Citizen Service, a Government-backed scheme which gives young people a chance to take part in new experiences, develop existing skills and give something back to the community.
I recently presented certificates to the latest cohort to complete the scheme, which is organised locally by the Crawley Town Community Foundation.
The projects this year have seen 15-17 year olds in Crawley raise more than £4,000 for charities including Olive Tree Cancer Support, St Catherine’s Hospice, the Springboard Project and Save the Children.
During the October half-term, the latest group of participants split into teams and attended activity centres in Chichester and the Isle of Wight. Upon their return to Crawley, they undertook a social action project in support of Crawley Open House.
NCS is designed to encourage personal and social development through a range of activities and projects requiring leadership, teamwork and communication.
Taking part costs a maximum of £50, which covers food and accommodation, and bursaries are available. The Government contributes £1,500 towards each young person participating.
The Government has committed to offering an NCS place to everyone that wants one. National Citizen Service is already boosting the life chances of more than 275,000 young people by building their confidence, resilience and leadership skills.
I welcome the Government’s continued support for the scheme. In October, Ministers introduced the National Citizen Service Bill to Parliament, and it is currently going through the House of Lords.
The NCS Bill legislates to provide a Royal Charter for the NCS Trust, and a clear mission to make NCS accessible to all, particularly those from deprived backgrounds.
The Community Foundation have a further NCS programme planned for Summer 2017. To register interest in taking part in National Citizen Service in Crawley, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, call 01293 410000 or visit: www.ctcommunityfoundation.com/ncs