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NCS Cambridge and South Cambs Summer 2016 Graduation

Young people celebrate achievements at national citizenship service graduation ceremony

Over 60 young people, with their parents and carers, attended a special ceremony at Impington Village College to mark their graduation from the National Citizenship Service summer programme.

Run by Cambridgeshire County Council’s Youth Support Service, the 4-week programme included a week’s residential course at various outdoor centres to take part in a variety of outdoor activities; a second week living independently away from home developing life skills, the third at Parkside Fire Station in Cambridge developing a knowledge of the local community as well as planning and project management for the final, fourth week where the group spent 30 hours delivering a social action initiative.

Young people and adults at the graduation evening

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The young people overcame many personal challenges to complete the activities, which also included abseiling, canoeing and team building exercises, as well as shopping, menu planning and cooking for themselves.

The young people also completed First Aid & Food Hygiene qualifications and received accreditation certificates for these courses at the graduation ceremony.

The social action element of the summer programme saw the young people volunteering their own time to clear, paint and improve Abbey People’s Community Orchard; busking, bag packing and bake sales as well as organising a successful charity fund raising gig.

The social action taken by these young people raised over £3000 for local charities and contributed 1800 hours of volunteering to the Cambridgeshire community. The chosen charities were The YMCA, (who the group supported by raising funds to support mental health counselling sessions in the community for young people), Hand in Hand with Syria, Abbey People, East Anglian Air Ambulance, East Anglia’s  Children’s Hospice and the Blue Cross.

This inclusive project involved young people from a wide range of backgrounds of varying abilities and was a huge success. Our partnership with the county’s special schools ensured that the project was open to all.

On completion of the programme the young people graduate and receive a certificate signed by the Prime Minister. As part of the NCS Graduate Programme they gain access to unique opportunities to continue volunteering and stay connected to each other and their local community.

Liz Morris, Cambridgeshire Youth Support Service Performance and Development Manager said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have been able to extend our reach this year and include many more young people in our NCS programmes. The learning outcomes for our young people have been vast and the impact of their social action significant. I am also proud that through our partnership work with both Castle, Granta and Meadowgate special schools we were able to facilitate the inclusion of young people with complex additional needs. 

The efforts of these young people across Cambridgeshire have resulted in significant fundraising for local charities and over 1800 hours of volunteering within the county.  I hope their outstanding efforts and experiences of NCS, together with the learning they achieved will support them to continue to volunteer within their local communities.   Young people are a vital part of our Cambridgeshire communities and their contribution to social action and as volunteers deserves to be recognised.”

For further information contact Youth Development Co-Ordinator Sonia Bradley on 07827 283227 or Darryl McMurray on 07766924738


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