Safe in Tees Valley News

NCS - Once in a lifetime opportunity

Posted : 17/02/2011

16th February 2011

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity for Cleveland Teenagers as National Citizen Service is Launched

One thousand young people from across Cleveland are being given a once-in a lifetime opportunity to make a difference to their lives and local communities by taking part in the flagship National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

The Cleveland area has been nominated as one of only 12 pilots across the country to take forward the 2011 initiative, providing a unique opportunity to hundreds of 16-year-olds from across Redcar, Hartlepool, Stockton and Middlesbrough.

The voluntary programme takes place over the summer, with three weeks of full time activities and a further 30 hours on a part-time basis over a number of weeks. It includes fun and challenging activities, away-from-home residential experiences and a self-designed social action project.

National Citizen Service is a Big Society initiative, supporting young people from all backgrounds to work together, take on new challenges and make a difference.

Those taking part in the programme can expect to make lifelong friends, overcome new challenges and develop qualities valued by employers and educational institutions.

The pilot is being led by Safe in Tees Valley with support from a number of partners including local authorities, uniformed services, young people’s services, the Tall Ships Youth Trust, Zenith Leisure and voluntary agencies.

It is hoped that it will provide the platform for NCS to be rolled out across the remainder of the country over the coming years, giving every 16-year-old the chance to take part.

Chief Executive of Safe in Tees Valley John Bentley said: ““Work is already well advanced preparing for the first National Citizen Service programme on Teesside.  This has only been possible because of the support of a wide range of partners working together and generously contributing both their expertise and resources”.

 Assistant Chief Constable Sean White, from Cleveland Police, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for 16-year-olds from across Cleveland as they are being given the chance to be one of only around 11,000 young people nationwide to take part in the programme.

“This is going to be a unique and fun-packed programme, which will help young people to build their confidence, make new friends, and make a difference. We as partner agencies are committed to the success of the initiative and will be providing support throughout the initiative and beyond.”

Gareth Carson, a Youth Support Team Manager for Stockton Council, said: “National Citizen Service is a fantastic opportunity for Year 11 pupils across Stockton-on-Tees, it provides young people with a whole host of volunteering opportunities which will help them contribute to life in their local communities, broaden their experiences and develop skills that will benefit them in many aspects of their lives, both now and in the future.”  

Application forms, posters and other information will be circulated across Cleveland in the next few weeks. Anyone wanting any further information can contact Lorraine McConnell on 0845 271 3883 or visit www.direct.gov.uk/nationalcitizenservice or the NCS Facebook page.

 

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