The Next National Service

By |2019-08-20T12:23:29+00:00August 20th, 2019|Comment|

The following is an excerpt of an article by Ruby Sampson. This features in our fifth print issue, available from the 15th September.

Find out how to get your own copy of the issue here.

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History may define David Cameron’s premiership by Brexit and by Brexit alone. But this should not be the case.

The Conservative government and the Conservative Party under David Cameron produced the landmark legislation legalising same sex marriage, stabilised the economy, enabled apprenticeships to be seen as a normal education pathway and introduced the National Citizenship Scheme (hereafter NCS).

Although Rory Stewart had originally been presumed to be the underdog in the Conservative leadership race, he appealed to the general public due to his infamous ‘Believe in the bin!’ analogy and his innovative policies.

One of these was a new form of national service based on NCS. NCS was launched in 2011 and I took part in the scheme in the summer of 2016. This filled the void of the long summer post GCSEs. With youth clubs no longer in existence the long time without structure can be seen to correlate with an increase in crime on the streets. The affordability of NCS, only costing £50 per person, covering accommodation, food for a week and activities for roughly four weeks of the summer meant it was accessible to young people from all backgrounds and classes. Where I live the east and the west of the borough are racially, socially and economically very different. But each NCS wave had a mix of people – from those who went to private boarding school to those whose social backgrounds were very different.

We all bonded quickly and became a close group of people, irrespective of social class and ethnic background. The combination of a week of physical activities and then a week learning a new skill, with another two weeks raising money for a chosen charity, allowed divided parts of the community to be brought together and improved many individuals’ well-being through personal development.

As well as the chosen skill of, for instance, music, art or sport many other skills were also learnt. For example, many young people aren’t used to ringing companies up on the phone or approaching members of the general public. But we had to ring up charities and companies to reserve locations for events as well as talking to members of the public while fundraising.

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Read the rest of this article in the print issue, information on which can be found HERE.

Photo by Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service on Flickr.

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