Local Community News


The largest ever National Citizen Service programme for Island teenagers has raised almost £5,000 for local charities.

The programme, which is run at UKSA in Cowes in partnership with NCS EFL Trust, saw the groups take part in team building and confidence boosting exercises, before moving onto fundraising projects for local charities, with a total of £4,495.33 being raised.

122 young people, aged 15-17 years old, took part in the 4-week youth development programme including residential stays at UKSA’s waterfront base in Cowes and at Land and Wave in Swanage.

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UKSA’s CEO Ben Willows said:

“It has been a fantastic summer at UKSA and we have been delighted to see so many young people taking part in the NCS programme. During their time with us they have taken part in adrenaline fueled activities, developed life skills and experienced a taste of independent living. They have also been tasked with planning and delivering local community projects, including fundraising.”

Fundraising activities included cake sales, car washes and assisting at charity events with help from local business people thanks to a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch.

Challenge and Adventure, Ability Dogs 4 Young People, Nature Zone, Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust, the Phoenix Project, Haylands Farm, Cowes Enterprise College and Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary all benefitted from the monies raised.

Challenge and Adventure’s Fundraising Manager Karen Eeles said:

“They did an amazing job for us. We badly needed a new path to be formed around one of our equipment stores to make it more weatherproof. The NCS group planned how to do it, negotiated with local companies to acquire the materials and then worked in awful weather conditions to clear the undergrowth and produce a fantastic new path. Their determination in such adverse conditions is a real credit to them and we are immensely grateful.”

UKSA Education Co-Ordinator Aaron Wright explained more about the programme: “The young people also took part in pilot programmes run by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary and the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service. The Military Preparation College for Training (MPCT) delivered a high impact day empowering leadership through teamwork and communication and a scheme developed by Nature Zone saw the young people take part in the Young Directors Scheme to develop their understanding of the charity sector.”

UKSA invited the NCS graduates to attend a special ceremony at Cowes Yacht Haven, an event that was also attended by parents and guardians. The graduates gave presentations about their charity work and were presented with certificates. An after-party saw the celebrations carry on late into the evening for the 350 attendees.

UKSA are currently accepting applications for their Autumn 2017 and Summer 2018 programmes. To find out more and sign up contact [email protected] or call 01983 203037.

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