The National Citizen Service was a scheme that was the championed by our former Prime Minister David Cameron. I was there when he launched the idea at an event which was held at Amir Khan’s Gym in Bolton before the 2010 general election. Basically, National Citizen’s Service involves a young person attending a three week structured scheme where they attend a residential course and also get involved in community and charity week. For many young people it is the first time they have ever been apart from their parents.
The National Citizen’s Service Bill establishes a statutory basis for the scheme. It was announced in the Autumns Statement in 2015 that the scheme is being expanded from 80,000 places a year to 300,000 places a year by 2020. The present NCS Trust which is the overarching body controlling the scheme will be established a Charter body by a Royal Charter to guarantee its future independence from government and party politics. The Bill which has already been through the House of Lords was given an unopposed second reading after the debate yesterday.
Today is an opposition day with the debates in the main chamber being decided on by the Scottish National Party. In Westminster Hall there is a debate on the future of the Pennine Acute NHS Trust and so I will be attending that debate.
I acted as one of the four dragons yesterday in a Dragon’s Den event for the National Citizen’s Service ( NCS) . NCS involves children from different backgrounds spending three weeks together on a residential course for the first week. Then getting involved with a local charity or good cause and then raising money and devising a project to help their particular cause.
It was the brainchild of David Cameron and I was at the launch of it before the 2010 election as it was launched by David Cameron as something he would introduce if elected. Of course it is easy to criticise the scheme but I do think it brings enormous benefits. It helps young people from affluent backgrounds mix with those from poorer backgrounds and it teaches the students how important it is to try and help each other.
Yesterday the young people were in five teams and they were pitching to be awarded up to £50 to help them with the project they had devised to help their charity. Two were helping refugees, two were helping restore the War Memorial and Park at Boggart Hole Clough in Manchester and one team was helping Communicate. They were all very impressive and I have no doubt all the young people will benefit enormously from taking part.
Today has seen David Cameron launch the National Citizen’s Service. It will be a two month residential course for 16 year olds which will be a form of National Service. This is not a new idea that has just been dreamed up for the purposes of the General Election campaign in fact the Party has been developing these plans for years. In fact I was in Bolton a couple of years ago when David Cameron first made the announcement about the new scheme. Whenever I have discussed it with people it has almost always received overwhelming support and it is yet another positive reason why people want to vote Conservative and have a Conservative Government after May 6th. Read the full story here