SCHOOL leavers in the Horsham district are being given the chance to ‘challenge themselves’ and ‘make a positive impact in their community’ in a scheme run by The Prince’s Trust Youth Charity.
The charity, founded by Prince Charles, gives practical and financial support, developing key workplace skills such as confidence and motivation, for those aged 14 to 30.
The trust says that it has helped more than 600,000 young people since 1976 and supports 100 more each working day.
A spokesperson said: “More than three in four young people we helped last year moved into work, education or training.
“Around one in five young people in the UK are not in work, education or training. Youth unemployment costs the UK economy £10m a day in lost productivity, while youth crime costs £1bn every year.’’
In its latest initiative, the charity is now recruiting for the National Citizen Service (NCS), a new, free scheme to be piloted in Horsham and Littlehampton over this summer.
As well as learning new skills, Year 11 leavers will design a project to benefit their area and take part in a five-day team-building trip which includes kayaking and rock-climbing.
Natalie Ross, Prince’s Trust acting regional director for London and the South East, said: “All too often young people are viewed negatively by society, as ‘no-hopers’ or ‘layabouts’.
“National Citizen Service will give young people in West Sussex the chance to prove that they can and do make a positive impact in their community.
“NCS will also give young people the chance to make new friends, build their confidence and gain new skills for future employment or further education.”
The Prince’s Trust is also appealing for volunteers to help run the scheme in West Sussex.
Volunteers will help the young people to achieve success, giving them support and encouragement during the course.
Natalie added: “The Prince’s Trust could not achieve the results it does without the support of our volunteers. The trust’s 5,000 volunteers play a pivotal role in helping young people move forward with their lives.”
As well as Horsham and Littlehampton, the coalition Government supported scheme will be piloted across 12 other UK locations, giving 11,000 young people the chance to take part.
For further information about volunteering or to find out more about National Citizen Service, visit www.princes-trust.org.uk/ncs or call freephone 0800 842 842.