We’ve all taken immense pride in watching one of Crawley’s own, Gareth Southgate, lead the England football team to the World Cup semi-final for the first time in 28 years. He now stands alongside Sir Alf Ramsey and Sir Bobby Robson in leading England this far in the tournament, as the nation looks forward to the final stages of the next European Championships being played at Wembley in 2020.
Crawley is rightly proud of Gareth and it would be fitting for a lasting tribute in our town to recognise his work.
A few days before Gareth was appointed permanent England manager in November 2016, I was at a National Citizen Service graduation ceremony in Crawley. We don’t know what our town’s next generation will go on to achieve, but those taking part in NCS have much to offer.
NCS is open to 15 to 17-year-olds and is delivered locally by the Crawley Town Community Foundation. It gives young people the chance to take part in new experiences, develop skills and give back to our community.
Last year I was pleased to speak in Parliament in support of legislation which strengthens the Government’s commitment to NCS, and I was delighted to present a copy of the National Citizen Service Act to the Community Foundation after it became law.
In addition to allowing participants to gain experience of working alone and as part of a team – skills which will help when seeking employment, apprenticeship or university placements in the years ahead – NCS also sees young people undertake social action projects to benefit the local community.
Charities which have benefited as a result of local NCS participation include Crawley Open House, the Springboard Project, St Catherine’s Hospice, the Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre and Save the Children.
NCS is designed to encourage personal and social development through a range of activities and projects requiring leadership, teamwork and communication.
The summer 2018 programme is on course to see the most participants ever – I wish them all the very best! Applications are still open; for more information please visit: www.ctcommunityfoundation.com/ncs
Henry Smith MP