Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds, recently attended the launch of the National Citizens Service Initiative organised by Cirencester College. The event took place at the South Cerney Education Centre Water Park.
The National Citizens Service, introduced by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, in 2010 gives all young people, aged 16-17, the opportunity to go on a week's outdoor adventure where they take part in various orienteering challenges, building shelters and learning various survival techniques.
NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that helps young people build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn. Young people have time away from home and ultimately engage with their local community to build a social action project. This project must be devised, planned and delivered by the teams. In Cirencester two of the teams are working with The Independence Trust to raise social awareness of enduring mental illness issues and also to fund raise to purchase a camera so the service users can record their stories.
Cirencester Sixth Form College set off this summer with three teams of young people having spent time at Wimbleball Lake Country Park, near Dulverton, Somerset getting to know each other and completing challenges that really tested their resolve.
As they went on in to their second week the Teams were closer to home and their communities, based at the Waterpark in South Cerney. This week was spent not only completing challenges but also meeting their community, especially the people who provided some of the essential services. This included Sue Tomlinson from the Independence Trust, Lyn Cole from the Cirencester Opportunity Group and Katy Dawson from the Cotswold Volunteer Service.
Speaking after his visit Mr Clifton-Brown commented "I was very pleased to see the energy and dedication of those young people taking part. Their determination to grab the opportunity given to them was encouraging to see. The National Citizens Service here in Cirencester offers a fantastic programme for young people in the area to get outdoors and stuck in a huge variety of different tasks, and I would encourage other 16 to 17 year olds to take part. I would like to thank Karen Bunting from Cirencester College for organising my visit. The NCS is an excellent example of how the people of the Cotswolds make the most of every opportunity possible and after seeing the young people here today I am confident that attitude is set to continue."
Source: Geoffrey Clifton-Brown MP Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds