Teens develop key skills of citizenship

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Teamwork, leadership and understanding others’ feelings are just some of the skills that more than 100 teenagers have developed during the summer’s National Citizen Service (NCS) projects.

Two glittering ceremonies were held at Center Parcs earlier this month to celebrate their involvement in the NCS scheme this summer, which is designed to support young people in their transition to adulthood through residential projects and community-based fundraising activities.

NCS is a government-backed initiative which provides activities such as residential projects, outdoor physical challenges like orienteering and walking in the Derbyshire Peaks, taking part in sporting games and raising money for charities through group-led activities.

At the first ceremony Colin Pettigrew, corporate director from Nottinghamshire County Council, presented the groups with their certificates of achievement, while the council’s youth services manager Pom Bhogal honoured the youngsters the day after.

Part of the scheme’s framework asked the groups to engage in volunteering activities and fundraising initiatives for the benefit of the local community.

Supermarket bag packs, sponsored walks, donations of equipment for local scout groups, a sponsored swim and the renovation 
of a church garden were 
just a few of the activities which the young people organised.

Project leader for NCS at West Nottinghamshire College, Nigel Oldham, said: “There’s been an immense amount of creative ideas this summer from all our NCS groups.

“Their initiative in devising fundraising and volunteering ideas has been simply outstanding.

“Lifelong friendships have been forged and long-lasting skills have been made throughout the project and it humbles me to be able to celebrate every individual’s success.”

The ceremony was the second of its kind in recent weeks with a further 170 youngsters being honoured for their NCS efforts at the start of the month.

The High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Judy Naake, was on hand to present the first cohort of young people with certificates of achievement for their hard work and contributions.

Mr Oldham added: “Everyone who took part in the NCS put in so much effort, showed lots of enthusiasm and developed a whole wealth of skills.

“Hurdles were overcome and there was such a sense of enjoyment throughout all the groups.

“Once again we’ve been overwhelmed with just how much these young people have used their initiative to not only help one another, but to help those less fortunate in their communities.”