Two hundred young people enjoyed a special evening to celebrate helping to make a difference in the local community.
The celebration was held at Dreamland, Margate, to mark the successful graduation of 200 young people from the National Citizen Service; a programme aimed at increasing social responsibility, employability and skills.
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During the programme the teens designed social action projects that raised donations and awareness for local charities. Together they volunteered more than 12,000 hours to developing their community projects, and raised thousands of pounds for local charities.
NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 15-17 with the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities and make long-lasting friendships. As part of the experience, the young people spend 2 weeks designing and delivering a social action project to benefit their local community.
Through their social action projects the young people supported a range of local charities including Seaview Homeless Shelter, the Hastings Buddy Scheme, Hastings Food Bank and STAR (Sussex Drug and Alcohol Service).
As part of the project, one team chose to support Syrian families entering the community through the Syrian Resettlement Project. The team ran a successful family picnic day to raise enough funds to create ‘Boxes of Joy’, containing a variety of necessities, to give to Syrian families entering the community.
A different team chose to support homeless young people in the local area by hosting a sponsored walk, raising over £800 with which they created care packages to distribute to those young people through Xtrax Young People’s Centre. The team now plan to create their own charity, and were even invited to Westminster to meet with Amber Rudd to discuss their plans.
At the graduation event, graduates were able to enjoy exclusive access to Dreamland’s park and rides, and were celebrated during a glittering awards ceremony - all receiving a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.
The National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth movement in over a century, with more than 400,000 young people nationwide already having completed the programme, and 5 million hours of voluntary action having been donated through the programme to date.
NCS is designed to bring young people together from a range of backgrounds, to facilitate the opportunity for them to face challenges, to learn skills for work and life, and to make their mark on their community.