Around 900 people recently descended on Citygate Church in Bournemouth for the local NCS (National Citizen Service) graduation events led by BCHA.
400 young people, along with parents, celebrated successfully taking part in the national youth empowerment programme open to all 15-17 year olds. Over the course of four weeks the teenagers from Bournemouth and Poole volunteered 12,000 hours for 30 local Social Action projects at places such as St Walburga’s Catholic Primary School and Bournemouth War Memorial Homes, raising £6,000 in the process.
The graduation ceremony, which was held over two consecutive nights, also featured performances from local dance troupe Passion Dance, as well as Guest Speakers including Natalie Newman from Amelia’s Rainbow, International Citizen Service (ICS) Representatives and BCHA’s local National NCS Leaders Kukku George and Annabel Stalley.
32-year-old Peter Thompson from Bournemouth, who ran 44 Marathons in 44 European countries in 44 days, raising nearly £18,000 for mental health charities Livability Holton Lee and Mind, delivered the keynote talk on both nights.
Bournemouth-based charity organisation BCHA, which helps homeless and vulnerable people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities, is the largest provider of NCS in the Poole and Bournemouth area, which brings together young people from different backgrounds and helps them develop greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility.
Each course encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication, supporting young people to develop the skills and attitudes they need to get more engaged with their communities and become active and responsible citizens.
Nadir Amouri, NCS Project Co-ordinator from BCHA, commented “It’s always amazing to see the passion and enthusiasm amongst young people grow as they go through the various stages of the programme – from outward bound activities through to skills based workshops right through to the social action project.
He continues, “This story is an example of the positive impact young people can have on their communities; we just need to give them the tools, support and opportunities to realise their potential which is where programmes like NCS are so valuable.”
Anyone interested should get in touch on 01202 410550 or email NCS@bcha.org.uk
For more information visit www.ncsyes.co.uk