County teenagers make a difference

Equipped with bin bags, paintbrushes and litter-pickers, nearly 100 young people from Lincolnshire are taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS).

Participants are busy revamping tired play facilities, tidying-up public parkland and giving community facilities a new lease of life.

Lincoln MP Karl McCartney caught up with the enthusiastic teens and lent his support when he and his family joined a group for an improvement session in Hartsholme Park, before going on to see a very creative revamp of North Hykeham’s SK8 Park.

Karl said: “It has been really fantastic to see he activities young people are involved in as part of National Citizen service.

“Everyone is having an amazing experience, with all the things they are doing, especially working on the social action projects.

“Apart from teenagers getting the chance to work on a variety of projects, they are learning good lifeskills, how to live and get on with people who are from other parts of Lincolnshire who they have never met before.

“This is part of the growing-up experience which I didn’t get until I was much older.”

Darren Sanby (16), of Lincoln, who goes to the Priory Witham Academy, said: “The NCS programme has definitely been better than I thought. I would do it again. I like it because you get the chance to do things you wouldn’t normally get to do.”

Tony Hillier, North Hykeham Mayor, said: “I think the work done at the SK8 Park is absolutely wonderful. The young people have added an extra dimension to it. They have been very nice and very motivated, we would welcome them back again.”

Activities

Young people who have got involved in the four-week Lincolnshire NCS pilot programme, which finishes on September 2, spent the first week meeting each other.

In their second week, the participants learned about first aid and safer driving, attended media workshops, communication seminars and discovered how to put the polish on their CVs and manage their money.

Big picture

The NCS pilot is being managed by the Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP.

Elaine Lilley, Chief Executive of Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP, said: “We are delighted that local MP Karl McCartney, who attended the launch of the NCS pilot in Lincolnshire, has been out to see how the scheme is making a real difference on the ground.

“It is extremely gratifying to hear that, not only are individual communities benefiting, but that the young people on the programme are really enjoying the experience as well.”

NCS is a flagship policy at the heart of the Government’s vision for building a Big Society.

The concept brings together 16 year olds from different backgrounds in a summer programme of challenge, service and learning, enabling them to develop the confidence, skills and attitudes they need to become more engaged with their communities and to become active and responsible citizens.