[T]he MP for Copeland has met with a group of West Cumbrian teenagers to join them in their final stage of National Citizen Service.
Trudy Harrison joined the group of 15-17 year-olds at Mirehouse Community Gardens in Whitehaven as they worked on developing a sensory garden for children with autism as part of their Social Action Project.
Launched in 2011 as part of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government’s Big Society Initiative, the NCS programme helps young people build work and life skills whilst taking on new challenges and meeting new people.
Having already completed phase one and two of their National Citizen Service, Trudy met the teenagers, along with staff from Inspira, as they began the third and final phase of the programme – ‘Social Action’, which allows the group to put their new skills into practice.
Trudy said: “It was fantastic to meet with Inspira and the most recent participants of NCS North West and hear more about what they have learnt as part of the scheme. Programmes like this are essential in equipping young people with the necessary skills needed in later life, as well as helping them to flourish and grow into independent young adults and I applaud Inspira for making it possible in our area.”
Managed by the career management and personal development organisation, Inspira, the NCS North West programme has seen more than 120 Copeland youngsters complete the course since its launch.
‘Adventure’ is the first phase of the personal development programme, and sees the teenagers take part in a range of outdoor adventure activities to experience facing challenges as a team along with stepping out of their comfort zones.
The second phase of the programme, ‘Discovery’ allows participants to explore the transition to independence, developing skills that will be directly useful when living independently.
The third and final phase of the programme, ‘Social Action, Planning and Delivery’ enables the group to connect and get involved with their local community, as well as develop and use skills beneficial in later life, including leadership and decision making skills.
Trudy added: “NCS North West provides a first insight into independent living, offering essential preparation for the future, but most of all it helps with new friendships, builds confidence and as I found today, it is such great fun. I really do recommend young people make the most of this valuable opportunity.”