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MP's praise for NCS teenagers

CONGRATULATIONS: Angela Rayner MP met with young people taking part in NCS.

MP Angela Rayner has met Tameside teenagers taking part in the NCS (National Citizen Service) Summer programme to thank them for their efforts.

The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party joined the young people at the Moravian College in Droylsden during their final day of NCS, following the culmination of their social action projects. 

Previously on the programme, they had taken part in outdoor adventure activities and learned skills for life at on residential course. 

During her visit she spoke to the young people about their NCS experience, and staff to hear more about working and supporting local young people. 

The NCS programme takes place in the summer holidays and brings together young people, mostly aged 16 and 17 from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience. 

The young people told the MP for Ashton and Droylsden about the social action projects they had planned and carried out, which included supporting local care home residents who may be experiencing isolation and loneliness.

Another team spent their week helping out the charity The River Manchester, an organisation that empowers survivors of domestic abuse. At the charity’s store on Ashton Old Road, the young people took on roles such as sorting donations, updating IT systems, serving customers, cooking, and making teas and coffees in their cafe.

Two of the teenagers, Leonie Saxon and Katie Lamb, have even been taken on as volunteers for the remainder of their summer holidays.

Leonie, 15, said: “NCS has been really good. I’d have been sitting at home doing nothing otherwise.

“Two weeks ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to walk into a shop and ask for work experience, but now after building my confidence, doing a public speaking workshop and hearing about volunteering opportunities, I’ve been able to do just that. It’s been nice to learn about the community and have opportunities to help others.”

Donna Barber, Project Coordinator at The River Manchester, said: “The NCS teenagers came and found us and were interested in what we’re all about. They helped us with a leaflet drop and they’ve been helping us sort clothes and clean electrical items. 

Katie’s been in the kitchen prepping food and making teas and coffees and Leonie’s been on the tills. Finlay used his skills to update Excel spreadsheets for our volunteers.

“We’re really appreciative of their time and support. Leonie and Katie have signed up as volunteers with us so I’m looking forward to working with them more.”

Across the North West, NCS is managed by The Growth Company and in Tameside is delivered by Catch22.

Jon Matthews, NCS Contract Manager at Catch22, said: “I was so proud of our young people for asking some personal and challenging questions around mental health, female leadership and politics.

“Angela Rayner’s visit topped off a fantastic experience for our young people. It was a pleasure to hear from Angela who gave some truly inspirational words of wisdom to our future generation.”

The MP, said: “I always love meeting my younger constituents and hearing about the wonderful things they are doing.

“It was brilliant to meet this group of teenagers. They’re a great bunch and had lots of questions for me about my work in parliament and how I deal with misogyny and online trolls.

“I hope all participants will keep hold of the things they have learnt during the NCS programme and put their newfound skills to use as they make their way in life.”

Mark Gifford, CEO at NCS Trust, said: “Having our most influential politicians join NCS programmes adds so much value to the experience of our young people. Their connectivity to politics and their community has risen and you could tell by their intent listening and engaging questions that this was an incredible experience for them.

“I thank Angela for her time and dedication to her young constituents.”

To date, young people taking part in NCS have delivered more than 15 million hours of community action. There are places available for 16-17 year olds to take part in the autumn half-term.

To book your place now, visit wearencs.com/autumn 

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