On Friday 31st August, I visited the National Citizen Service (NCS), a hugely successful and popular scheme which helps 16 and 17-year-olds make new friends, improve their confidence and acquire important life skills.
I have been a supporter of NCS for many years and have previously given out graduation certificates to many young people from Northamptonshire who have completed the four week summer scheme.
On my visit most recently I was very impressed to see how the NCS had given young people from Northampton an opportunity to engage in a social action project aimed at supporting the local community.
Six groups of around ten young people have spent time over the summer helping raise money for the Cynthia Spencer Hospice, our local hospice providing palliative care services in Northampton and South Northamptonshire. The teenagers I met had chosen to volunteer at the Hospice, sorting donations to help staff and patients.
More than 1,500 teenagers from Northamptonshire have volunteered as part of the NCS for a total of over 47,000 hours and I would encourage all 16 and 17-year-olds in Northampton to take part in NCS. The vast majority of participants report back that they hugely enjoy the experience.