Sussex Coast College Hastings is celebrating after it was awarded ‘Champion School’ status by the National Citizen Service following the successful graduation of 234 students.
A night of celebration was held at Sussex Coast College (SCC) on Thursday, January 19 to mark the students’ graduation from The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme - aimed at increasing social responsibility, employability and skills.
Dan Shelley, Vice Principal of Enterprise, Employment and Skills at SCC says during the programme the young people donated over 7,000 hours of volunteering, and designed social action projects that raised donations and awareness for local charities including Xtrax Young People’s Centre, Seaview, and Shelter.
“The NCS programme offers a once in a lifetime opportunity for 15-17 year olds to make a lasting mark on local communities, whilst learning first-hand the skills that employers are looking for,” he said.
Taking place throughout the autumn term, the programme offered participating students the chance to try their hand at a range of activities, including rock climbing, raft building, developing confidence, business, social and team-working skills.
Students went on to examine the Hastings community to identify areas requiring improvement, and used their findings to design and implement a social action project to make that improvement.
At the ceremony, graduates received a certificate signed by Prime Minister Theresa May and SCC was presented with the ‘Champion Schools’ award by Deputy Mayor of Hastings, Councillor Nigel Sinden. The award recognises the college’s dedication to giving back to its local community through the integration of NCS within its curriculum.
Dan Shelley accepted the award and said the achievement of NCS champion status highlights the colleges commitment to developing social action, employability and the wider personal development skills of students, adding:
“Wherever possible we try to ensure that the social action our students undertake not only helps local causes but enables students to develop employability skills linked to their chosen careers.”
Cllr Sinden praised the efforts of the young people who took part in the programme: “NCS and your social action work really promotes positive outcomes for you as young people,” he said. “You have shown the ability to develop positive relationships with your local communities and with each other.
“You have shown commitment, leadership, resilience, determination, and a whole host of other skills that will serve you well in life to come, whatever path you may choose. I thank you for your dedication to supporting and bettering your local community.”