CXK awards Sussex Coast College Hastings ‘Champion School’ Status

Monday 23rd January 2017

A night of celebration was held on Thursday 19th January at Sussex Coast College Hastings; marking the successful graduation of 234 Sussex Coast College Hastings students from the National Citizen Service programme.

Whilst completing the programme aimed at increasing social responsibility and skills, which had been embedded into the college’s curriculum; the teens donated over 7,000 hours of volunteering, and designed social action projects that raised donations and awareness for local charities including Xtrax Young People’s Centre, Seaview, and Shelter.

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 autumn term, the programme offered the participating Sussex Coast College Hastings students 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 Hastings community to identify requiring improvement, and used their findings to design and implement a social action project to make that improvement; with a focus on utilising the skills learned as part of their college course.

At the ceremony, graduates received a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, and Sussex Coast College Hastings was presented with the highly coveted ‘Champion Schools’ award by Deputy Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden. The award recognises the college’s dedication to giving back to its local community through the integration of NCS within its curriculum.

Accepting the award, Dan Shelley, Vice Principal of Enterprise, Employment and Skills at Sussex Coast College Hastings commented: “Our achievement of NCS champion status highlights our commitment to developing social action, employability and the wider personal development skills of our students.

“Wherever possible we try to ensure that the social action our students undertake not only helps local causes but enables students to develop employability skills linked to their chosen careers. Be these winter car checks, performed by our Motor Vehicle students, or hair and nail sessions for care home residents, from our hair and beauty students, or construction students repairing the Brick Boat next to the A259, in partnership with the St Leonards Rotary Club, the link between supporting local communities and expanding social and employability skills is important.

“We intend to roll out this programme further in the spring with a diverse range of curriculum areas including A levels, construction and our Students with Learning Difficulties or Disabilities included and ensure it becomes an integral part of our offer here at the college so that we can encourage our students to volunteer more and give back to our local community as well as build skills and help with their progress outlining the skills they have developed in UCAS statements or their CV for future employment.”

Councillor Judy Rogers praised the efforts of the young people involved: “NCS and your social action work really promotes positive outcomes for you as young people. You have shown the ability to develop positive relationships with your local communities and with each other. You have shown commitment, leadership, resilience, determination, and a whole host of other skills that will serve you well in life to come, whatever path you may choose. I thank you for your dedication to supporting and bettering your local community.”

The National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth movement since the Scouts, with more than 300,000 young people nationwide already having completed the programme, and 5 million hours of voluntary action having been donated through the programme to date.