Connexions launches National Citizen Service campaign

Youth service Inspira has launched its campaign for this year’s National Citizen Service early in a bid to attract year 11 students on to the programme.

The organisation, which was chosen for the second time to host the project with the Outward Bound Trust following last year’s successful launch, will recruit teenagers from across the county to get involved in the community-based initiative.

Sixteen-year-olds will come together to make up small teams who will spend part of their summer working on community projects. The scheme promises to push boundaries and skills as young people, live, work and socialise together.

As part of the experience they will spend a week at an outdoor centre taking on tough physical challenges, having fun, building confidence and bonding as a team. Some of the activities may include climbing, sailing, rafting, high ropes and a wilderness expedition.

Working in socially-mixed groups over several weeks, they will embark on challenging and action-packed residential experiences, testing their teamwork and leadership skills through tough outdoor adventures, exploring their communities and gaining insights into local issues.

They will also be given the opportunity to design and deliver their own social action projects and will be introduced to local employers, political leaders, emergency services and community groups to experience different aspects of adult life. Some of last year’s projects included the likes of fund-raising events, eco projects, community space improvements and even sports coaching.

Last summer, more than 400 young people throughout Cumbria took on the challenge and proved what a positive contribution young people can make to community life in the county.

Stephanie Williams, of Workington, took part in last year’s challenge and graduated through the project with a special recognition award at a ceremony at the end of last year.

She said: “I thought NCS was a great experience, a great time to meet new people and was full of challenges. It made me more confident and made me want to try new activities I haven’t done before. I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Over 8,000 young people throughout England experienced NCS in 2011, and up to 30,000 will get the chance to take part this year. Its aim is to encourage teenagers to develop and demonstrate important skills, attitudes and personal qualities which are valued by employers, colleges and universities.

Mark Bowman, Connexions Cumbria chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to even more young people across Cumbria.”

You can read the full article here

Published 27 January 2012 in The News & Star