The Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West has met local teenagers helping a community farm as part of their National Citizen Service (NCS) experience.
Visiting the young people at Page Pastures Farm, Sunderland, on Tuesday 30 July, Sharon Hodgson MP saw first-hand how NCS participants are supporting local communities during the school holidays. The team of young people opted to help the farm as an important community space which is also used to train young people on apprenticeships.
Sharon visited the group as they ended their final week of the NCS programme by weeding the farm and helping with the animals.
Sharon Hodgson MP, Member of Parliament for Washington and Sunderland West said:
“It was great to meet young people participating in the NCS programme at Page Pastures Farm, and to hear all about their time on the programme.
“The NCS summer programme is a great initiative giving young people the opportunity to experience various different activities, develop key skills and can really make a difference to their confidence. I wish them all the best of luck in the future.”
The parliamentarian also heard first-hand how NCS - the fastest growing youth movement in our country for a century - is helping to develop participants’ life skills, resilience and wellbeing while boosting community engagement.
Anna Ingram, 16, from Washington, said:
“Our team loved meeting Sharon Hodgson, it was a good opportunity to demonstrate just some of the work we've done in the community through NCS.
“Sharon visited on our last day of social action to see us convey all of our new skills such as confidence as well as our teamwork and leadership. I've made friends for life! I would totally recommend this programme for anyone and without a doubt would do it again.”
NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.
Maxine Tennet, Director of Operations for vInspired, which delivers NCS in the North East in partnership with NYA, said:
“It was brilliant that Sharon Hodgson MP made the time to visit NCS again. The young people really appreciate her support for their work in the community.
“In Sharon’s constituency this summer, nearly 300 teenagers have signed up to do NCS – collectively, that’s over 8,300 hours devoted to helping local causes. Empowering young people to give back to their communities is just one of the things that makes NCS such a life-changing experience for participants.”
Over 400,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving up an incredible 11.7 million hours to social action projects since NCS started.
There are still places available for 15-17 years to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity, with the few remaining places now available for just £35 when young people use the code NCS35 when booking via NCSNORTHEAST.co.uk or by calling 0191 247 4020.