Eastbourne MP Caroline Ansell rolled up her sleeves and helped out teenagers creating a sensory garden as part of the National Citizen Service.
Mrs Ansell visited 13 teenagers at Sedmoor and Framley residential care home for people with learning disabilities on the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, where they are learning more about how to make a difference in the local area through creating a sensory garden for the residents of the care home.
Run by social business and charity Catch22, the NCS programme in Eastbourne is open to all 16 and 17 year olds in the area.
It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery. Through a mix of outdoor adventure and community projects, Catch22 and NCS help teens build new skills for work and life.
During the programme, the young people will experience four sections that focus on personal and social development including leadership, teamwork and communication skills. This will include 60 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society.
NCS will see them design and deliver more than 100 social action projects that will make a difference to their local community. Many of these young people will be on life changing journeys, which will see them fundraise tens of thousands of pounds for good causes and raise the profile of issues close to the hearts.
On her visit to the project, Mrs Ansell spoke to the young people before their activities to remind them of the important impact that teenage volunteering has on the local community.
The MP’s appearance marks her first commitment to supporting young people on the programme, who wish to develop their skills, make a difference to the community and discover new experiences and people their age.
Mrs Ansell says she is keen to witness the transformative programme that has shown to increase young people’s interest in local issues, improve confidence and hours dedicated to volunteering
She said, “I have heard so much about the difference that NCS makes to the lives of young people and the positive impact it makes on their decision to make a difference in Eastbourne.
“This government flagship programme enables young people not only to take part in outdoor activities and meet new people but also to give something back to their communities, so I am delighted to be able to support National Citizen Service this Summer.
Aled Parry, 16, a participant on NCS from Eastbourne, said, “ Working on the NCS project with my team has given me the confidence to carry on making a difference in my community and to believe in the power of team work.”
National Citizen Service is a two-four week programme for 16 and 17 year olds taking place during school holidays.
The programme helps teens develop skills for work and life including confidence, leadership and resilience, while expanding social networks.
Not only do the teens have the chance to give something back, but it also looks great on CVs and helps with job, college and university applications, building future aspirations.
NCS is now recognised by UCAS and taking part is a sought after addition to any CV.
In summer 2015, more than 75,000 young people across England completed the programme and graduated.
Since the beginning of the programme in 2010, there have been 130,000 graduates who have volunteered 3million hours and fundraised for good causes.
Government backing means that it costs just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.
NCS represents great value for money for parents as participants spend up to two weeks away from home with all meals and activities covered.
The first week is spent at an outward bound facility participating in activities such as abseiling, water rafting and canoeing. The second week teens live away from home, learning how to be self-sufficient, developing new skills and finding out more about the needs of their local community.
Find out more at www.NCSyes.co.uk.
Catch22 is a social business, a not for profit business with a mission of ‘building resilience and aspiration in people and communities’.
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