Model Citizens Set to Donate 96,000 Volunteering Hours in six weeks to Kent and Sussex Charities

Friday 7th July 2017

Kent and Sussex teens are set to donate 96,000 volunteering hours and raise thousands of pounds for local charities, as part of the National Citizen Service (NCS) summer programme aimed at increasing social responsibility and skills.

3,200 15 to 17 year olds across the region have signed up to take part in the latest intake of the programme, which is delivered across Kent and Sussex by Ashford-based charity CXK.

The NCS programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity for teens to make a lasting mark in their local communities, whilst learning first-hand the skills that employers are really looking for. Taking place over 4 weeks this summer, the scheme offers young people the opportunity to challenge themselves during team outdoor activity trips, build new friendships with people from a range of backgrounds, receive mentoring and skills building training across a range of disciplines, and ultimately deliver their own community project.

Having donated 30 hours each to social action in the local community, every young person will graduate the programme to receive a certificate from the Prime Minister, and join a community of over 300,000 participants since the scheme’s conception.

Since 2015, over 200,000 volunteering hours have been donated by young people within Kent and Sussex as part of the NCS programme, benefitting hundreds of local charities.

NCS graduate Josh Attwell, from Thanet, said: “I found that NCS was the perfect antidote to post exam stress. It helped fill the long summer holiday with exciting, positive activities and opportunities to build new friendships.

“It made me more confident about my abilities before putting those abilities into practice during the social action weeks. NCS showed me that you don't need special resources or systems to be able to get things done as our social action project started from nothing but a team of inspired young people.”

The impact of NCS on the growth of local young people’s skills and confidence has been plain to see. Results of a CXK survey of local NCS graduates showed that 87% of participants felt that their awareness of their local community had improved, whilst 77% said that their NCS experience had improved their self-confidence.

99% of young people said that they felt more positive about meeting new people, or people that are different to them, as a result of their NCS experience.  64% said that they now felt more willing to challenge themselves, with 60% feeling that their confidence and ability to live independently from their parents/guardians had improved. 98% of NCS participants said that they would recommend NCS to a friend.

Pauline Smith, CEO at CXK, commented: “NCS is a unique opportunity that is designed to bring young people together from all backgrounds, helping them to develop the skills to get on in life and the compassion to support each other.

“CXK look forward to continuing to inspire and develop our local young people through the NCS programme, changing their lives and strengthening communities.”