July 4, 2011 11.53 am This story is over 152 months old

Teens join new national community project

National Service: Young people will be taking an active part in the community as well as outdoor fun with a new national scheme.

Photo: Participants being put through their paces by RAF personnel

A group of Lincolnshire teenagers have been praised by Lincoln MP Karl McCartney for signing up for new outdoor community projects.

Around 100 teenagers were greeted by the MP and other business leaders when they signed up to the National Citizen Service (NCS) launch programme.

Through the scheme, youths will be taking part in adventure training and community projects, as well as living away from home at the University of Lincoln for two weeks.

The aim is to help teenagers make a real difference in their communities, as well as take part in motivational workshops and team-building sessions.

The young participants grouped at Market Rasen Racecourse, where they met their mentors — who will be coaching the teens — for the first time.

They will be trained for the outdoor activities by RAF personnel.

MP Karl McCartney said: “This is a great opportunity for everyone. All credit should go to the Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP (Education Business Partnership) team.

“We may have the smallest pilot in the country, but good things come in small packages.

“The young people of our country today are as passionate and idealistic as any generation before, perhaps more so.

The NCS will give them an even greater sense of purpose, show them how rewarding community and social action really is and give them transferable employability skills that will hold them in good stead in the future.”

Discussions are currently underway with parish councils, the City of Lincoln Council and East Lindsey District Council to find more projects teens can work on.

According to Lincolnshire & Rutland EBP chief executive Elaine Lilley, only 11,000 teens across the country get the opportunity to take part.

However, NCS hopes to raise the number of participants to 600,000 in 10 years’ time.

There are still a few places left on the Lincolnshire programme for teenagers ages over 16, living in Lincoln or East Lindsey. To apply, go to Lincolnshire EBP’s NCS page.

At the first meeting, EBP chair Lee Patterson told participants: “You are pioneering, you are testing and trialling something which will involve up to 600,000 young people in the future.

“What you are doing is important and details of it will look good on your CVs and job application forms.”

Lincoln teen Thomas Smith (17), who attends St Francis Special School, will be one of the first groups taking part.

He said: “I am into politics and this will help me with that interest.

“Doing it will look good on my CV when I go to University.

“I am looking forward to experiencing my stay at University (on the programme) and looking forward to helping with the community project.”

Source: Lincolnshire & Rutland Education Business Partnership