Queen Elizabeth High School students talk volunteering at Westminster

Hexham teenagers have championed the power of volunteering to change outcomes for young people and communities in a Westminster meeting with Charity Minister Tracey Crouch MP.

Three Queen Elizabeth High School students travelled to London on Wednesday (10th January) to meet with Minister Tracey Crouch. They highlighted the valuable skills and experiences that they have gained as volunteers, and the need for more young people to be supported to get involved in their communities.

Rory Bryson, Liam Robinson Meikle and James Scott joined other young people representing the UK’s leading youth social action charity, V•Inspired.

V•Inspired CEO Jessica Taplin said: “The young people really showed their passion for volunteering. We heard loud and clear that as well as helping to improve their local community, social action enables young people to develop the skills they need to thrive.”

The students were also treated to a guided tour of Westminster, courtesy of pensions minister Guy Opperman. The Hexham MP invited the teenagers to Westminster during a visit to their school to hear about their National Citizen Service (NCS) experience. Last year, North East young people contributed over 136,000 volunteering hours to local communities and causes through the programme.

Guy Opperman MP said: “I have met many students who have undertaken the NCS programme, and I am always impressed with the change it makes to their lives and aspirations. It was a delight to welcome Hexham students to Westminster to meet the Minister and discuss how to make the scheme even better in the future.”

Over 2,300 young people from across the North East have already reserved their place on the NCS summer programme, which is delivered by V•Inspired in partnership with the National Youth Agency.

James Scott, student at Queen Elizabeth High School, said: “In doing NCS It gave me the opportunity to expand my own abilities. As a result I was able to continue volunteering after graduating NCS which has helped in my life with university applications.”

16 and 17 year olds are eligible to take part in NCS. Government-backing means that places cost just £50, with bursaries of £10 available to those eligible for free school meals.

Young people can reserve their place on the life-changing NCS summer programme on NCSYES.CO.UK or by calling 0191 247 4020.