National Citizen Service is a scheme for 16-year-olds first proposed by the Prime Minister in 2005 and introduced by the Coalition government in 2011. It brings together 16-year-olds from different backgrounds in the summer after they have taken their GCSEs to work together and give something back to their communities. After three weeks of team-building and outdoors activities, participants spend 30 hours helping improve their communities.
Mr Jones has written to every secondary school in the Harrogate & Knaresborough constituency highlighting the scheme and encouraging students to take part.
One of the providers of the scheme is Your Consortium Ltd – a local social enterprise based at Chain Lane Community Centre in Knaresborough. They have set up a website called ‘Do it, change it, live it’ about the scheme which is available at www.dochangelive.org
There will be 30,000 places available on National Citizen Service this summer, including 192 in North Yorkshire. By 2014 there will be 90,000 places available and it is hoped that there will ultimately be places available for all 16-year-olds.
Commenting Mr Jones said:
National Citizen Service is all about giving young people the chance to come together from different backgrounds, have new experiences, learn new skills, understand how to work as a team and give something back to the community. Young people are too often unfairly portrayed in some of our national media. The truth is that a huge number work in our communities voluntarily and this will enable more to do so.
I am very pleased that there are 192 places on National Citizen Service for young people in North Yorkshire and I hope that eventually all children in Harrogate and Knaresborough will be able to benefit.
Sue Vasey, Chief Executive of Your Consortium, said:
We know that there is so much potential in young people and we are passionate about providing opportunities for them to use their energy, enthusiasm and skills to make a difference in our communities. The onus is on all of us to support our young people and I’m calling on local businesses – large and small – alongside the voluntary and community sectors to help us make ‘Do It Change It Live It‘ happen.