A programme which has seen 500 young people take part in activities, ranging from a residential stay in Cornwall to developing a social action project, has received huge support from the Exeter business community.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme is delivered in Exeter by the CITY Community Trust. For just £50 the young people, who are aged between 15 and 17, sign up to the programme, which includes a week in Cornwall, life skills classes at Bicton College and in the final two weeks, the planning and delivery of a social action project.
Danny Harris, of CITY Community Trust, who oversees the programme, said business support was vital to its the success. He added: ‘We are incredibly lucky in Exeter to have a business community which is hugely supportive of both the work the charity does in the community and more specifically, in this case, the support it gives to the NCS programme.
‘The young people spend a week at Bicton College learning life skills and we have been extremely fortunate to have business people who give up their time to support this section of the programme.’
Companies that supported this part of the programme included Meridian Business Support, Sarah West Recruitment, Jay’s Aim, CEDA BisNet, Northcott Theatre, McQueenie Mulholland and Santander.
Paula Thompson from the Exeter branch of Meridian Business Support presented two days of employability workshops to the young people.
She said: ‘The workshops encouraged the participants to identify skills that they have gained from the NCS Programme and other activities, which can assist them in their future careers. Meridian were delighted to support the NCS Programme and look forward to further involvement in the future.’
The groups are tasked with producing social action projects which are designed to make a difference to their community. Over the summer they have been working with a number of local charities and their ideas were then pitched to a panel in a Dragons’ Den format.
Danny added: ‘I’d also like to express my gratitude to the business leaders who have given their time to support the Dragons Den. Some going on to act as mentors to the young people and even donating their own money to the good causes. It is this kind of support which really demonstrates the generosity and kindness of our business community in Exeter.’
If you would like to be involved in NCS in Exeter, contact Danny Harris on [email protected]