North Herts teenagers prove to be citizen stars as they mark a memorable month

47 young people, mostly from Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston attended the National Citizen

47 young people, mostly from Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston attended the National Citizen Service summer project delivered by Youth Connexions’ North Herts team. - Credit: Archant

Nearly 50 young people from across North Herts have been learning new skills while putting something back during a summer holiday scheme with a citizenship slant.

National Citizen Service teenagers raise funds for Herts Young Homeless in Market Place, Hitchin

National Citizen Service teenagers raise funds for Herts Young Homeless in Market Place, Hitchin - Credit: Archant

The 47 youngsters, drawn mostly from Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston, took part in the National Citizen Service summer project delivered by Herts County Council’s Youth Connexions North Herts team.

The four-week scheme sees teams choose a worthwhile community cause, plan and budget for the project, raise funds and carry out the work.

As well as learning how to successfully manage a community project, the young people also took part in skills building exercises such as mountain biking and team games which developed their communication, trust, listening and leadership skills.

They also gained qualifications and skills in first-aid and spent a day at North Herts College where they had the opportunity to try a range of different subjects such as animal care, hairdressing, bricklaying, mechanics as well as business studies.

National Citizen Service teenagers raise funds for Herts Young Homeless in Market Place, Hitchin

National Citizen Service teenagers raise funds for Herts Young Homeless in Market Place, Hitchin - Credit: Archant

At least four of the group have signed up with the college as a result of this taster day.

One of the groups supported Herts Young Homeless and planned a sponsored sleep out in aid of the charity.

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The other plumped for the Lister Hospital children’s ward as their chosen cause. They organised a fun run in fancy dress around Hitchin town centre, raising money and many smiles along the way, with official buckets supplied by the hospital.

The Herts Young Homeless supporters set up shop in Hitchin’s Market Place on Friday for a fundraising cake sale.

NCS leader Karamjot Jaswal said: “The group have done really well. They’ve planned their own events, and this cake sale is their final one.

“The students wanted to do something that would make a difference, but they couldn’t work directly with a homeless shelter as you have to be 18.

“It has been a really good experience for them.”

Hitchin Girls’ School pupil Louise Moore described how the group had also gone to the town’s Milford Lodge care home and sing for the enjoyment of elderly residents.

“It’s been really good,” she said. “I’ve learned lots of new skills to put into practice in the community

“Everyone should do National Citizen Service.”

Hitchin town centre manager Keith Hoskins is a fan of the scheme for teenagers aged 15 to 17.

He said: “I’m always pleased to welcome young people to the Market Place, particularly when they are raising funds for local causes.

“The National Citizen Service is an incredibly worthwhile project which encourages students to make a mark on their local community.”

For information about the work of Youth Connexions, including NCS, visit www.youthconnexions.org.

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