Nearly 100 teenagers from Barnsley welcomed Michael Dugher MP to Oakwell Stadium today to tell him about the social action projects they have planned as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) experience with Barnsley's Community Sports & Education Trust (CSET).
The Barnsley East MP was treated to a rendition of the group's NCS anthem, composed in collaboration with the Barnsley Youth Choir. This was the first time they had performed the song, which will be on their set list when attending care homes in the local area.
This is just one of the many social action projects that the young people have developed that aim to tackle local issues that they identified during their time on NCS.
"National Citizen Service does a fantastic job engaging young people across the country. It is also great to See Barnsley Football Club and The Football League Trust supporting the work of NCS and helping to deliver these worthwhile projects for young people," Dugher said.
Chief Executive of Barnsley's CSET, Wayne Bullimore, remains enthusiastic about NCS, having been involved since the programme began in 2011. He commented: "We are incredibly proud of all the young people that we have worked with on NCS, their personal journeys make this a very rewarding programme for all involved. These young people are dedicated to pushing themselves and making a real difference to their local community."
NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to all 15 to 17 year olds across England. It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused on fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society.
On this government-backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, learning new skills and contributing to their community.
Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust, reflected on the growth of the programme: "Since the initial pilots in 2011 NCS has grown phenomenally. This year we expect to engage around 8000 young people across the country on Football League Trust NCS programmes.
"Schemes like Barnsley's are fundamental to our delivery, the clubs are perfectly placed within their local area to engage the young people and make a real difference to the community."
There are still places left for 2014 programmes across the country. If you want to find out more about the programme and how to get involved, visit www.ncsyes.co.uk and register your interest, or take a look at the NCS Twitter page.