Crawley MP Henry Smith joined a group of local young people taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), an open-to-all unifying experience run by the club's Community Foundation which helps teens from different backgrounds become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.
During his visit, Mr Smith met NCS participants in their fourth week of the programme where teams had been spending time delivering a social action project to support their local community.
Mr Smith heard first-hand how NCS - the fastest growing youth movement in our country for a century - is helping to develop participants’ life skills, resilience and wellbeing while boosting community engagement.
He said: “I was pleased to find out more about what the teams had been doing on National Citizen Service, from completing challenging activities to creating a social action project to benefit our local community.
“These are the sorts of initiatives I had in mind when I spoke in Parliament a couple of years ago in support of the Government’s plans to expand provision of NCS, and why I was pleased to present a copy of the NCS Act to the Community Foundation after it became law.
“NCS continues to go from strength to strength, and I look forward to seeing how the young people taking part today will contribute to life in Crawley tomorrow.
“The Community Foundation’s provision of NCS highlights how Crawley Town FC are seeking to engage with our local area including offering free admission to home games for under-11s this season."
NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life. It was launched to tackle three core issues of importance to society: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement.
Elinor Adie, NCS programme manager at Crawley Town Community Foundation said: “It was a pleasure to have Henry visit our young people on Wave 1 and find out more about the fantastic social action projects they’ve been working on.
"Following on from our youth politics sessions delivered by the UK Parliament outreach team on Phase 2, it also gave some of our young people the chance to engage face-to-face with their MP and ask some burning questions.
"Political engagement is one of the flagship experiences for NCS this year, so Henry’s visit, alongside Mayor Raj Sharma’s earlier in the week, has helped inspire our young people to become more involved with political issues, both locally and nationally and we thoroughly appreciate them taking the time to meet with our NCS participants.”
Over 400,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving up an incredible 11.7 million hours to social action projects since NCS started.
There are still places available for 15-17 years to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. To sign up go to www.ncsyes.co.uk.