Cameron hails true ‘grit’ of Oxfordshire’s NCS youngsters

Former Prime Minister David Cameron has praised the “grit and determination” of hundreds of young people in Oxfordshire who have completed the county council’s National Citizen Service scheme.

The summer course was Oxfordshire’s biggest ever, with more than 600 teenagers graduating and over £30,000 raised for local charities. The county council scheme is the fastest growing in the country and the largest of any local authority provider.

In a letter paying special tribute to the Oxfordshire youngsters, Mr Cameron said they had “embodied the NCS ethos of social action, increased responsibility, independence and inspiration.”

The Witney MP, who made NCS a flagship national policy after becoming Prime Minister in 2010, said: “Putting yourself forward for the National Citizen Service is a great opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to the community, and it will have taken great grit and determination to persevere over the four weeks.”

He added: “I also want to thank Oxfordshire County Council and their NCS team for organising the many activities which took place over the summer and ensuring everything ran smoothly.”

Important social mix

Although it is open to all children, the involvement of a wide range of professional council services in Oxfordshire such as the young carers team, youth offending and disability support teams enables many disadvantaged and vulnerable young people aged 15-17 to benefit from the NCS experience.

The county council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “We are proud of all of the young people and their achievements this summer, they have all volunteered four weeks of their summer to better themselves and make a difference in their communities. Our Oxfordshire programme brings together young people from all backgrounds, achieving a real social mix in which stereotypes are challenged and lifelong friendships are made.

“We are very excited to see what the future holds for these young people and the continuing impact their experiences will have in their local communities, where they will have the opportunity to remain actively engaged as NCS graduates.”

The families and friends of all graduates turned out to celebrate their success at a sparkling ceremony at Oxford’s Kings Centre on Saturday (10 September).

Oxfordshire NCS summer course 2016 in numbers:

  • 1,800 people, including graduates and their families attended the summer graduation
  • The 614 graduates raised £30,745.64, with money raised still continuing to increase.
  • 36840 hours volunteered to Oxfordshire Community causes and charities
  • Over 40 charities supported through campaigning, fundraising, volunteering