Banbury teenagers recognised for a summer helping others

Jake Parkhouse, 16 (front) and Karena Norris, 16 both volunteered for the NCS summer programme (photo Mark Bassett) NNL-160929-124331001
Jake Parkhouse, 16 (front) and Karena Norris, 16 both volunteered for the NCS summer programme (photo Mark Bassett) NNL-160929-124331001
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Dozens of teenagers from Banbury have been recognised for a summer spent campaigning, volunteering and fundraising for local causes.

A total of 75 young people, aged between 15 and 17, from 
Banbury, took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) Youth and Community programme, the largest of its kind in the UK.

The four week long volunteer programme consists of physical and mental challenges such as rock climbing, caving and surfing at facilities in Wales and Devon.

During the second week the NCS festival takes place in Oxford and focuses on personal development and workshops in motivational and future life skills.

Using their newfound skills, groups of 15 participants then take on the challenge of identifying and assisting local community causes and need to complete at least 60 hours of voluntary, fundraising or campaigning activities.

In total Oxfordshire County Council delivered 615 places to the summer programme, 75 of those filled by young people from Banbury.

On September 10 at the Kings Centre in Oxford, 2,000 guests including friends and family turned out for the Oxfordshire graduation.

In total the Banbury team donated 900 hours to 10 local charities, raising over £5,000.

Jake Parkhouse, 16, of Banbury, said: “I learned how to deal with different people I would not necessarily mix with.

“We did cake sales, a 28-mile walk fundraiser, a fete, raising money and volunteering for such charities as Katherine House Hospice.”

Ryan Johnson, NCS Oxfordshire coordinator, said: “Oxfordshire County Council National Citizen Service (NCS) summer programme has been a huge success.

“We are proud of all of the young people and their achievements this summer.

“They have come together with others from all across Oxfordshire to volunteer four weeks of their summer time to better themselves, futures and Banbury communities.”