Over 1000 people attend the National Citizen Service Graduations

Over 500 young people from Cumbria graduated from the National Citizen Service summer programme on Saturday 18th October. Attended by a total of over 1000 people, six graduation ceremonies were held across three locations in the county.


Managed and delivered by Inspira in Cumbria and Lancashire, NCS is part of a government-backed scheme to help young people make a positive transition towards adult life. Comprising of an outdoor adventure experience, a community residential, social action planning, and a minimum of 30 hours volunteering, NCS helps young people build and develop skills such as, being a team player; leadership; confidence, and helping their local community. With start dates staggered over a seven week period, hundreds of young people were organised into 61 teams, and spent time learning about teamwork; overcoming personal challenges; making new friends, and experience independent living.


The Furness and South Lakes graduations took place at The Roxy Cinema, Ulverston, and were attended by special guests and local dignitaries: Inspira Board Chair Mick Farley; Cllr. Bill Mcewan; Cllr. Evelyn Westwood, and Cllr. Marie Derbyshire, the Mayor of Barrow. Presented by Hannah McNulty, an ITV Border Correspondent, the ceremony was also attended by Paul Oginsky, Youth Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister and a leading architect in the development of NCS, who gave a keynote speech about the wide-ranging benefits of the programme.


The West Cumbria graduations were held at the Energus Centre, Workington, and Ryan Dollard, an ITV Tynes Tees and Border Correspondent, hosted the ceremony. Local dignitaries and special guests, including Cllr. Mary Bainbridge, Mayor of Workington; Cllr. Duncan Fairbairn; Cllr. Andrew Graham, Mayor of Cockermouth; Cllr. Wendy Skillicorn; Celia Underwood, a local magistrate, and Angela Good from the South Workington Youth Partnership, attended


Hosted by Kim Inglis, Cumbria-based TV Presenter and Journalist, the North Cumbria graduations took place at The Learning Gateway Theatre situated within the Carlisle Campus of the University of Cumbria. A number of special guests attended, including Mr John Stevenson, MP for Carlisle, and Mark Bowman, Chief Executive of Inspira.


From all the teams across the county, several young people were selected as recipients of Outstanding Achievement awards to acknowledge their inspiring NCS journeys. In the South, Sarah Croasdell, Sam Wright and Michael Wicksteed were chosen for the NCS award for their commitment and progress throughout their journey on NCS. In the West, Beth Weir and Tamara Allen were awarded the prize owing to their leadership and support for other members in their respective teams. They also both excelled in their social action projects, with Tamara especially praised for her major role in her team’s work with The National Trust. Both Rosie Watt and Bethany Bulman obtained awards for demonstrating a consistently positive attitude throughout the programme, and, for their exemplary social action projects. Working closely with Carlisle Youth Zone, Rosie organised and delivered sports and interactive games to younger children on summer camp. Whilst, Bethany demonstrated a huge passion for her team’s social action project, ‘Generation Relation’, which resulted in securing £500 from an external trust. The project involved showing the elderly how to use a range of technology in order to combat the onset of Alzheimer’s.


“Congratulations to all the young people who have graduated across the county,” said Mark Bowman, Inspira’s Chief Executive. “It has been a very special day, with over 1000 people attending the events.  We hope to see them continue their journey with Inspira and the NCS Opportunities Hub, to build further skills for life and their future career.”


There are many opportunities on offer to NCS graduates that allow them to stay involved, and therefore continue to develop their life skills and employability. For more information, please visit the NCS Graduates page.