Teenagers in Redcar & Cleveland have joined thousands from across the North East in spending their summer holidays making a difference to their communities and local charities.
In Redcar & Cleveland, over 200 teenagers took part in National Citizen Service (NCS) this summer, developing new skills and experiences to best equip them for future life.
The government-backed programme is open to all 16 and 17 year olds and culminates in a young-person led community action project.
Collectively, over 110,000 volunteering hours were invested by North East teens taking part in NCS through the vInspired-NYA partnership over summer.
In Redcar & Cleveland, teens spent in excess of 6,000 hours creating and delivering community projects, supporting good causes and creating lasting legacies in the process.
16 and 17 year olds currently in year 12, 13 or equivalent provision have a chance to get involved in the autumn half-term NCS programme, with teens encouraged to book early.
In Redcar & Cleveland teens spent time on a variety of different community projects. They included the refurbishment of a community rose garden in Lakes Avenue, close to Redcar Racecourse. The team dug up weeds, tree stumps and old stones, flattened the area and laid woodchip.
Receiving support and praise from local residents and the council, the group planted new rose plants and flowers, creating a much-improved feature for the area.
Another team surveyed the local public in Redcar to find out about the issues that were of concern to them. It emerged that residents felt that the first impression visitors to the town had was a negative one due to the untidy nature of the train station.
The group completely revamped the site, clearing rubbish and weeds and planted flowers in order to give the area a new look, ensuring that the first impression visitors to Redcar have is a more positive one.
Over in Saltburn, teens answered a call from a local Scout group, who had received a grant to refurbish their Scout hut but first needed help to strip walls, clear gardens and clean up in preparation for the refurb.
16 year old Rhys Petrie was one of the teenagers from the area that took part in NCS during the summer. Rhys said: “It’s been one of the best experiences of my life so far. I’ve really enjoyed it.
“When you get an opportunity to do something like this, you’ve got to take it.”
In the North East, NCS is operated through a charitable partnership of vInspired and National Youth Agency, alongside a number of partners from the voluntary and community sector who deliver the programme locally.
Contract director for NCS in the North East, Kim Smith, said: “The North East has benefited from an incredible summer of social action.
“Young people have jumped well and truly out of their comfort zones and made huge impacts on their local areas through NCS. We can be immensely proud of the current generation of teenagers in our region.”
The next NCS programme runs over the autumn half-term, departing Monday 24 October for teenagers in Redcar & Cleveland. Government backing means places are capped at £50 or less, depending on circumstances.
The autumn experience includes a four-day, three-night residential where teens will meet new people and enjoy adventure, fun and freedom. Returning home, teens will then spend time developing life skills like confidence, leadership and communication.
Next up, they’ll work with their NCS team to deliver their own community project – making a lasting impact on the local area. As well as helping to boost confidence and develop skills, NCS also helps to boost CVs and is recognised by UCAS, who encourage the scheme to be listed on personal statements.
Bookings are now open for the unmissable autumn programme, with parents or teenagers urged to call 0191 247 4020 or visit NCSNORTHEAST.co.uk now to secure their place.
Teens can get in early and bag a £10 Spotify gift card. Just quote #TERRIFIC250 when speaking to a member of the NCS team… but hurry, the offer is only open to the first 250 early birds.
Already taken part in NCS? They can recommend a mate who hasn’t and they’ll each receive a £15 iTunes gift card. They’ll need to let a friend know to quote the #NCSmates promotion when booking to be eligible.