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National Citizen Service

Volume 574: debated on Wednesday 29 January 2014

A new, independent organisation called the NCS Trust has been established to lead the programme in 2014. We are delighted that more than 70,000 young people have had this hugely positive experience since 2011. The trust will build on that success. In 2014, more young people than ever will have the opportunity to take part in the National Citizen Service.

In September last year, I joined 40 young people on Big Challenge Sunday. Guided by the park ranger, Trevor Hoyte, they painted fences and picked litter in Rugby’s Caldecott park. That was appreciated by local people and the young people gained valuable life skills. Should not Members from across the House encourage more people to take part in the National Citizen Service?

Yes, we should. I thank my hon. Friend for his support for the National Citizen Service. The NCS has a twin value: it gives young people the chance to do something in their community and, as he said, it helps them to develop confidence and skills that will make them more employable. That is why we are so ambitious for it and why there is cross-party support for it, led by the Leader of the Opposition.