A group of 200 young people from Gainsborough and Lincolnshire have been awarded with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister after graduating from the National Citizen Service.
The graduation ceremony, which took place at the University of Lincolnshire, was held to commend the group for giving up their school holiday to spend four weeks on the NCS programme- living away from home and taking part in outward bound activities.
The NCS is a youth empowerment programme this summer where they worked in groups to create a social action project to benefit the local community.
As part of the last phase of the programme, the teenagers developed their own social action projects around an issue they were passionate about in their area. One of the groups, for example, created a community garden at a local church.
Hannah Ibbotson, aged 16, from Scotter, Gainsborough, a graduate of the programme said: “At first I was sceptical about NCS but I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t what I thought it would be – it was really fun and I made loads of new friends. It helped push me out of my comfort zone and helped me develop new skills.
“The graduation ceremony was brilliant, it really brought the whole thing together and we all got chance to see each other again and make plans to meet up in the future. Graduating from NCS is a real achievement and I would recommend it to other teens.”
During the graduation ceremony, teens were reunited with their teams to share memories of their experience on the programme before being presented with the certificate.
Hannah’s mum, Shelly said: “Children are often in a bubble of school and the friends they always see and NCS was a great opportunity for Hannah to meet new people and try new things.
“I’d definitely recommend NCS, for what teens get out of it and the skills they learn it’s such good value for money and it gave her a real focus over the holidays which was brilliant.”
Alex Nightingale, cohort leader for NCS in Lincolnshire says: “In just a few short weeks this extraordinary group of young people achieved so much and this graduation ceremony was held as an opportunity to celebrate and thank them for all their hard work. We were really impressed with their social action projects and how enthusiastic they were about supporting the local community. It was amazing to see how many new friends they made and we would definitely urge any 16-17 year olds in the area to sign up to take part in the programme.”
Sign-ups for the Autumn holidays NCS programme are now open. NCS runs across the county and costs no more than £50, which covers the entire experience from food and accommodation to activities and travel.
For more information visit www.ncsem1.org.uk or call 01522 574101.