Hundreds of 15-17 year olds from schools across Southampton celebrated their graduation from the NCS summer programme, alongside their parents, youth workers and local dignitaries.
The National Citizen Service is a government funded programme which takes place throughout the country and provides young people with the opportunity to experience great outdoor activities, learn key skills and help contribute towards their local communities, through voluntary projects thought up by the students themselves.
Supported in Southampton by charity Youth Options, the waves of young people were based here at Central Hall throughout July and August, whilst they planned their involvement in a number of initiatives around the local area.
Funds raised through car washes, bake sales and sponsored activities amounted to an astounding £4,000 in total to help support a number of Southampton charities - including Wessex Cancer Trust, Healthwatch Southampton and Autism Hampshire.
Social Action projects included taking children from Rose Road Association on a day out to Marwell, holding an arts and crafts day for children staying at Ronald McDonalds House and creating a sensory garden for the visually impaired with Southampton Sight, amongst other initiatives.
To mark these excellent achievements, each student from the programme was invited to graduate in an elaborate ceremony held here in our Main Hall. After being welcomed with a (sparkling water) champagne reception, guests were entertained with live performances, speeches and video montages showing all the various activities throughout the summer. Students were also presented with certificates by Southampton MP Royston Smith and Councillor Sarah Taggort, before the evening came to a close with the chance to strike your best pose in the photo-booth and take home a personalized NCS cupcake!
You can find out more about the NCS experience and how to get involved by visiting their website here.