SCHOOL leavers are being offered the opportunity to make an impact on their communities, while at the same time making new friends and undertaking challenging activities this summer.

National Citizen Service is being piloted across the country with places for 900 16-year-olds being offered in the South-West – with 150 of them p for 16-year-olds currently living in Somerset.

The project is part of the Government’s commitment to building a ‘Big Society’ where communities and local people are supported in having a big role in making change happen in their area.

Under the scheme, youngsters will be able to take part in a seven or eight week voluntary programme. It will include a two-week residential element when they will be able to take part in physical and recreational challenges and then a community element when they will develop projects to help their communities.

In the future, the Government wants every 16-year-old to have the chance to take part in National Citizen Service.

The ‘Community’ element is called ‘social action’ and can be anything that the participants want to do, provided it has some benefit to a community in Somerset or those that live there.

Ideas for social action projects that we are already aware of, include putting on music events for young people, environmental improvement projects, campaigns, holiday activity schemes, sports and games events and beach clean ups.

National Citizen Service South West will also involve 16-year olds in Bristol, Devon and Cornwall working with Young Bristol, Young Devon and Young People Cornwall but in Somerset, the Somerset Rural Youth Project are the lead organiser.

To find out more and or register your interest, click on the Related Link below.