NCS Grad Fest 2019

Over 350 participants came together on Friday night to celebrate another fantastic Summer of the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme with Reds in the Community.

Several of the beneficiaries of this Summer’s numerous social action projects were in attendance while Stephanie Peacock MP honoured the teens in a speech to open proceedings.

Taking place at the Barnsley Metrodome, the Grad Fest 2019 was an opportunity for the young people to celebrate their achievements during the holidays.

A presentation of awards, videos, pictures took place alongside a series of performances from the talented participants.

The total figured raised across all four waves was also announced, the young people raising over £5000 to support various projects within the local community.

Alongside music and food, there was also festival-themed glitter facepaint, inflatables and a photobooth.

Social Inclusion Officer Hannah Philips heads up the NCS programme and paid tribute to the participants for their hard work.

She said: “It’s been a fantastic night. You can see tonight they’re loving every minute. Four weeks for them seems like such a long time but for us it flies by. They’ve done so much hard work. You can see it tonight from the videos, the social action and the money raised that the work in the community has been phenomenal.

“There’s been 28 projects locally. The majority of that money has gone back to the projects. Some of the money we keep for future NCS participants who can’t afford to come on the programme so it all goes to a good cause. This has been our biggest Summer so far. They thoroughly deserve tonight and it’s great to see them enjoying themselves.”

Tony Buck, EFL Trust Youth Engagement Officer, was a special guest at Friday’s ceremony.

He hailed the participants’ achievements as incredible and gave an insight into the future opportunities available for the young people.

He said: “It’s been fantastic to come down. The staff team at Barnsley NCS have done a great job. They’ve had a fantastic Summer and it’s a fitting to way to finish off and give the young people a chance to celebrate their incredible achievements this summer.

“It’s fantastic to see that big figure on the screen and really see the impact they’ve had on the local area. It’s so much more than the money raised. The young people have used that money to go and make a difference in the local community. Some of the things that young people go onto do after their four weeks on NCS is absolutely phenomenal. Essentially, they carry on this ethos that they’ve picked up on NCS. The graduate scheme is a chance to continue doing that. We’re really proud at Barnsley to have several young people who choose to stay on and continue making a difference in their local area.”