A night of celebration was held on Thursday 29th November at Dreamland, Margate, to mark the successful graduation of 40 young people from the National Citizen Service programme.
Whilst completing the four-week programme aimed at increasing social responsibility and skills, the teens, all from the Thanet, Ashford and Canterbury areas, collectively volunteered 2,200 hours and designed a social action project to support their local communities.
Delivered in south and east Kent by CXK, 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 through and beyond autumn half term, the programme offered the participating young people 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.
Whilst having fun is a huge element of the programme, these young people have also made an enormous contribution to their local communities. The Thanet team got stuck in to helping renovate the premises of new venture, The Kitchen Community Café in Margate; a new organisation which is committed to working to reduce food poverty by offering affordable, quality food to the local community.
The Ashford group, meanwhile, organised a variety of fundraising events to raise funds for Alopecia UK, which included three team members cutting or shaving their hair for donations, raising £1400 in the process. They went on to deliver a series of school assemblies to raise awareness of the condition.
Finally, the Canterbury team chose to support local homeless charity Catching Lives. The team raised donations for the charity by doing bag packing and bucket collecting at Wilkinson’s in Canterbury high street, and collected unwanted winter clothing from family and friends to donate to the charity.
At the ceremony, graduates received a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, and were addressed by NCS Assistant Director, Kellie Major.
Kellie commented on the team’s success in the programme, saying: “You now join over 400,000 other young people that have completed the NCS programme, and you have contributed to over 5 million hours of voluntary action that have been undertaken as part of the programme to date.
“NCS isn’t just about young people having a fantastic time and letting off steam, as important as that is. It’s about bringing young people together from a range of backgrounds, developing skills, challenging perspectives, and changing society for the better. If I could summarise NCS in one word, it’s about responsibility – our young people learn responsibility to themselves and to the communities around them.”