Alok Sharma, the Member of Parliament for Reading West, on Saturday 23rd November 2013, joined young people taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) as they worked on a local social action project.
The NCS, which was launched by Prime Minister David Cameron, provides an opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds to take on a new challenge, build skills for work and life and help out their local community.
Alok met with group members of project ReGeneration, which is one of the Reading teams, as they prepared tea, coffee and cakes for elderly people at Wycliffe Baptist Church on Kings Road. In order to receive a NCS certificate, participants have to undergo 30 hours work in the space of four weeks on their own social action project, with the support of a mentor.
Those involved have already taken part in a team building event at an outdoor activity centre in Wales where they were able to take part in challenging outdoor activities like rock climbing and abseiling and then spent several days learning about their local community and building skills to help them deliver their social action project.
Alok Sharma said: “I was very pleased to be invited to join those taking part in the National Citizen Service. Everyone taking part was clearly very enthused by the project, which will certainly help them to develop vital skills for the future and it is great to see young people taking an interest in helping the community they live in.”
Kanchan Gurung, Assistant team manager for project ReGeneration said: “To be able to help local elderly people, and spend time with them is something that I've always wanted to do. Hence I was very passionate about our project ReGeneration, which focuses on young people like me doing something positive for elderly people.”
Alexandra Ivens, an NCS participant who invited Alok to meet the team said: “I’ve really enjoyed organising and participating in the event, and I think the NCS has been a wonderful experience. I found that all of the support we got from those around us, particularly our mentor helped us come together to create something good for the community.”
Photo: Alok Sharma with team ReGeneration at Wycliffe Baptist Church