316 Kent Teens Graduate from National Citizen Service Youth Empowerment Programme

Thursday 5th October 2017

A night of celebration was held on Tuesday 26th September at Winter Gardens, Margate, to mark the successful graduation of 316 Ashford, Dover, Thanet and Folkestone young people from the National Citizen Service; a programme aimed at increasing social responsibility, employability and skills.

During the programme the teens donated over 9,400 hours of volunteering, and designed social action projects that raised donations and awareness for local charities including Ashford Fibro Awareness, Folkestone Rainbow Centre, Kent Young Carers and Pegasus Play Scheme.

The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for 15-17 year olds to make a lasting mark in their local communities, whilst  learning first-hand the skills that employers are really looking for. Taking place throughout the school summer holidays, the programme offered the participating teens the opportunity to try their hand at a range of activities, from rock climbing to raft building to developing confidence, business, social and team-working skills.

As part of the programme, the young people went on to examine their local communities to identify aspects requiring improvement, and used their findings to design and implement a social action project to make that improvement. The teams organised an array of fundraising activities; from sponsored walks, fetes and bake sales, to raffles and quiz nights, collectively raising over £13,000 for their chosen charities.

At the ceremony, graduates received a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, and were joined by many of the charities that they had represented.

Pauline Smith, CEO at CXK, commented on the success of the programme: “CXK is proud to deliver NCS in the Hastings and Wealden districts, and we have been inspired by the hard work and dedication of this summer’s graduates. 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. NCS is proven to have a massive impact on young people’s lives; UCAS recommends students include NCS in their personal statement, and almost three quarters (72%) of NCS graduates feel more confident about getting a job after doing NCS.”