National Citizen Service teens celebrate their community contributions during National Volunteers’ Week

Tuesday 5th June 2018

To coincide with Volunteers’ Week (1 – 7 June), young people from across Kent and Sussex are celebrating the community contributions they have given as part of CXK’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

Over the past year, more than 3,400 teens across Kent and Sussex have taken part in the programme, donating 103,440 volunteering hours to local charities and causes in the process. Those hours were dedicated to a range of projects designed to better their local communities, including renovating the gardens at a local care home, developing a litter picking scheme for a busy town centre, the hosting of charity fundraising activities such as a car wash, colour run, music concert and quiz night; and the filming of an awareness raising video.

The benefitting charities and causes included Chamberlain Manor, The Mix, Ashford Fibro Awareness, Porchlight, Emmaus, Alopecia UK, Pegasus Play Scheme, Kent Young Carers, NSPCC, Newington Community Centre, RSPCA, Alfie Gough Trust, Alzheimer’s Society, Help for Heroes, Folkestone Rainbow Centre, Hope for Tomorrow, Barby Keel, Friends of the Conquest Hospital, Dragonflies, Torfield School, Young Minds, Jigsaw, and Sussex Nightstop.

To date, NCS graduates across the country have dedicated nearly 12 million hours of community action. Each programme includes 30 hours dedicated to a community project, with participants planning and delivering a social action project that gives something back to their community. Independent research has found that after completing NCS participants say they feel more equipped to tackle problems in their community, and more able to have an impact on the world around them.

NCS graduate Shane Daily, aged 16, commented: “NCS has changed my life for the better, it made me way more active than I used to be before and it has gave me the necessary skills I will need for the future. You meet many people along the way who you will keep in contact with and have great laughs, also you feel good about yourself knowing you have done great work and you do this work while you're having fun.”

NCS is the country’s fastest growing youth programme in a century, with almost 400,000 people having taken part to date. From 2000 to 2015, data from the Office for National Statistics showed that 16–25 year olds went from being the least likely group to volunteer to the most likely – and the same findings mentioned NCS as a possible reason behind this change.

CXK’s CEO, Pauline Smith, spoke out in praise of the local graduates’ work: “Through NCS, CXK has empowered many young people to take action in their communities and helped them develop skills and experiences which will be valuable throughout their lives. Volunteers’ Week is a great time to celebrate how young people are making a difference. Social action can benefit the young people themselves and the community, and NCS can help get young people started on what will hopefully be a lifetime of participation in their communities.”