Nick Hurd visited Bolton Lads and Girls Club, the UK’s largest youth centre, which is running 1 of 12 NCS pilots across England.
NCS is a Big Society initiative which aims to help build a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society. It brings together 16-year-olds from different backgrounds to work together for the good of their communities while developing skills and confidence. Participants spend 2 weeks away from home taking part in outdoor team-based challenges before returning home to work on community projects that they feel most strongly about.
The Minister met the young people in Bolton who are among the first 10,000 pioneering the scheme which the Government hopes to make available to all 16-year-olds in England. He heard about their experiences and discussed ideas for social action projects the young people want to start back in their communities.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:
I want National Citizen Service to become a rite of passage into society and an experience that young people share regardless of their background or where they live in England.
The Bolton teenagers I met today have really impressed me with their enthusiasm for making a difference in their communities. Their hard work is clearing the path for many more to follow. I hope Bolton will celebrate these young people for the important contributions to the community I’ve no doubt they will make over the coming weeks.
Of course, this wouldn’t be happening without the team at Bolton Lads and Girls Club who have really risen to the challenge of creating a life changing experience for these teenagers. I thank them for their drive and commitment and look forward to hearing more about their success.
During his visit to the North West the minister took the opportunity to meet with people from other charities and voluntary organisations in the region, including:
- Warrington’s Gateway Centre and Local Integrated Services teams
- Community Organiser Kickstart Partners at Manchester Metropolitan University