cumbria’s national citizens’ service graduates
Rory, on Tuesday evening welcomed some of Cumbria’s graduates of the National Citizens’ Service programme to Westminster to congratulate them on their hard work this Summer, and to discuss their pivotal role in helping to make the Government’s pilot initiative such a resounding success.
Rory welcomed graduates Isla Cooke (QEGS), Rachel Dodd (Trinity Carlisle), Megan Downes and Katie Storey (both of Ullswater Community College), and Youth Support Workers from Connexions Cumbria Erica Blagg and Lynne Hullock to Portcullis House and chatted with them about their experiences over the Summer. The graduates were in London for a celebration party hosted by the Cabinet Office and Orange Rock Corps to celebrate the fact that 8,500 young people across Britain participated in NCS this year, and on the back of the pilot’s success this number will increase to 30,000 in 2012 and – it is hoped – 90,000 by 2014.
Rory said: “Cumbria should be rightly proud of the role it has played in making NCS such a success; the Prime Minister himself visited the programme earlier this year on what was an extraordinary day. This is a scheme that has at its heart a sense of duty and pride in the community. I pushed very hard for Cumbria to be a national rural pilot, and a sign of its success is the plans to increase the number of participants next year. This is wonderful news. Many detractors say that this might be a waste of money, and that is par for the course with any new initiative: these young people have obviously had a really exciting, fulfilling time. This is an excellent project to have been involved in, and I’m very proud of it. I’d like to congratulate all young Cumbrians who graduated from NCS this year – thank you for making it such a success.”
In Cumbria, Connexions Cumbria – in partnership with the Outward Bound Trust – ran forty groups during the Summer, in which over 400 young Cumbrians took part. Participants delivered over 10,500 hours of social action across Cumbria, and will be expanding the scheme in 2012.
Pete Alger of Connexions Cumbria said: “We loved it! It was challenging but great to do and the feedback from young people and parents has been excellent.”