Young people learn skills at National Citizen Service programme events

Nick Gibb with the team of young people
Nick Gibb with the team of young people

An MP made a special trip to the Phoenix Centre at Westloats Lane in Bognor Regis to meet the 15 young people taking part in one of the four week summer National Citizen Service programmes.

The scheme, established by David Cameron, is for 15- to 17-year-olds after they have taken their GCSEs. It allows them to take part in a series of activities to help boost their confidence, gain new skills and to put something back into the community.

The Chichester and Arun scheme has been running since the end of July and has seen 14 teams, each of 15 young people go through the programme.

Week One involved an adventure week. The group I met went to Devon and stayed at Barton Hall. This involves a range of outdoor and bonding activities.

Week Two is the Skills Week and the group stayed at Chichester University where they learned to cook for themselves and gain other life and employment skills, such as how to speak in public and perform.

Weeks Three and Four are the Social Action weeks. The group helped out at nursing homes, Tudor Lodge; the charity Grandad’s Front Room and the 39 Club.

Nick Gibb said: “The National Citizen Service is a wonderful opportunity for young people who have just finished their GCSEs to spend an exciting four weeks of their summer meeting a group of people their own age from all different backgrounds. The Bognor Regis group I met gave a presentation of everything they had done over the four weeks. It is clear they had all had a wonderful time and all 15 of them have become firm friends. It was the friendship part of the experience that they emphasised time and time again.”

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