A group of 49 young people from Grantham and elsewhere in Lincolnshire have been awarded certificates signed by the Prime Minister after graduating from the National Citizen Service (NCS).
The teenagers took part in the youth empowerment programme this autumn when they worked on a project to benefit the local community.
The graduation ceremony, which took place at the Alive Conference Centre in Lincoln, was held to commend the group for giving up their school holiday to take part in the NCS programme. On the programme they spent time living away from home, took part in outward bound activities and learnt key skills for work and life.
They also developed their own social action project around an issue they were passionate about. One group chose to dedicate their project to Humanity First, a charity providing help and aid around the world, specifically to Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
Daisy Shippey, 16, from Grantham, a graduate of the programme said: “I really enjoyed NCS as it pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It was great to see my entire group grow in confidence and gain skills in presenting and talking to people.
“I especially enjoyed our social action project as we raised £200 by organising a bake sale and cycling 187 miles on two static bikes which is the same as cycling coast to coast across Haiti!”
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.
Daisy added: “I made a real bond with Ruth, a girl in my group who has downs syndrome. I am so proud of everything she has achieved on NCS and graduating together was really special. NCS is such an incredible experience that opens you up to totally new situations and I would recommend it to anyone and I definitely want to become a mentor when I turn 18.”
Phil Everett, of NCS EM1 said: “In just a few short weeks this incredible 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 their chosen charities. 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 summer holiday NCS programme are now open. NCS runs across Lincolnshire and costs no more than £50, which covers the entire experience from food and accommodation to activities and travel, with bursaries available on a case by case basis.
NCS takes place during the school holidays across Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland. Young people and their parents can register their interest at www.ncsem1.org.uk or by calling 01522 574101.