During a recent visit to the National Citizen Service (NCS) course at Manor Farm, Rushall I was able to see first-hand the difference that the NCS is making for young people.

During my visit, I was especially interested to learn about the NCS camping challenge and showcase as well as see the positive benefit of the scheme which was ensuring that young people were gaining in confidence and life skills as they worked together.

Participation in the NCS is a great opportunity for young people locally to join together and address the issues that they are passionate about. The programme helps equip teenagers with the skills they need, whilst giving them opportunities to meet new people and experience new challenges.

With participation levels in NCS at a record high across the country, the summer programme at Manor Farm Community Association in Rushall is an inspiring example, linking with an excellent local community organisation that offers our area so much, including outreach to older people, support for individuals with learning difficulties, as well as courses and vocational training for people across Walsall.

Throughout my visit to the NCS I was impressed by the enthusiasm for the scheme and just how proud everyone was of the work they had done and the skills they had achieved. We are so fortunate to have the benefit of NCS on our doorstep once again this year.