Over 260 young adults and their guests packed Chester Cathedral on Friday 13th September for the latest NCS (National Citizen Service) graduation event led by Youth Fed.
The 15 to 17-year-olds all successfully completed the government’s youth empowerment programme, which focuses on building communication skills and confidence. The young people volunteered over 3000 hours to help their local communities through social action projects. Youth Fed, which has been helping young people for over 75 years, is the largest provider of the NCS programme in the Cheshire area.
Kevin Bradburne, Director of Operations, said: “NCS aims to build skills that will make participants stand out to employers and universities. The graduation is always a joyous occasion as it provides a great opportunity for the young people to share experiences and achievements in what has been for most, a life-shaping experience.”
NCS begins with a residential course, followed by workshops to develop essential and practical life skills. The final stage is involvement in a social action project they feel passionate about.
NCS project worker Megan Tingle said: “During July and August, we took 740 young adults to an activity centre in Doncaster where they stayed in dorms and took part in challenging activities such as, Jacobs ladder, raft building, zip wire and rock climbing.
“This part of the programme takes many of them out completely out of their comfort zone and, as well as developing team building skills, is a great boost to their self-confidence.”
The young people went on to complete a variety of social action projects, including designing sensory boxes for autistic young people and volunteering at a local nursing home.
Lord Lieutenant David Briggs, M.B.E., K.St.J. attended the event and presented over 250 graduation certificatea. He concluded the night with an inspiring and motivational speech about the future opportunities the young adults would be involved with.
Youth Fed is accepting places in their next NCS course, which starts in October. Social action projects are also invited to get in touch if they would benefit from NCS support.