22 January 2015
Catch22’s National Citizen Service (NCS) team in Sunderland were delighted to host the Prince of Wales this week on behalf of NCS Trust.
The Prince, who is patron of the Step Up To Serve’s #iwill campaign, visited in recognition of the significant commitment of NCS graduates, who have collectively given over three million hours to their communities. Catch22 has also pledged to support the #iwill campaign.
Meeting NCS participants
His Royal Highness also met boxing champion and NCS ambassador, Amir Khan, who stepped out of the ring to show support for the inspirational NCS graduates taking part in a Dragon’s Den style pitch. Young people were vying to win funding for their social action project, to tackle local issues that are important to them.
Watching Dragon’s Den style pitches
Amir then accompanied His Royal Highness to see a technology lesson for the elderly where NCS graduates demonstrated how to get online and send a tweet, as part of a youth-led initiative to help tackle loneliness among the elderly.
NCS in Sunderland
Catch22 NCS Sunderland was established as part of the NCS pilot in 2012. Since then, 615 young people have taken part, overcoming barriers, realising goals, developing their personal skills and contributing almost 16,000 hours of social action.
Many of the young people have continued their work locally by continuing their social action projects, continued involvement in NCS (through voluntary positions) and in one case, securing employment as a sessional staff member of the Catch22 Sunderland team.
From NCS to employment
Paula was unsure of what to do with her life before participating in NCS. Through the programme, she gained valuable skills and new friends. Paula was also encouraged by NCS leaders to try volunteering at a local youth centre. She is now a qualified Youth Worker and has worked for the NCS team.