At Saturday’s fixture against Doncaster Rovers, young people that have made an impact in the community through National Citizen Service (NCS) will enjoy VIP treatment as they join the players on the pitch to launch NCS Matchday, a special awareness-raising event organised by Southend United Community & Educational Trust.
A handful of lucky Blues fans who all graduated from the NCS programme - during which they gave back to the local community by volunteering and fundraising - will be going to the game as special guests courtesy of the Club.
The event, supported by Southend United Football Club & Southend United Community & Educational Trust (SUCET) will be part of a wider EFL Trust campaign that sees NCS Matchday reach over 30 EFL and Premier League clubs across the country, highlighting the positive work that young people have done in their local community.
In 2017, NCS Matchday reached over 3 million people, with over 500 footballers players across the country celebrating NCS and the young people that have given n back to the local community.
NCS is a flagship government initiative that provides young people aged 16-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life. It was launched to tackle three core issues of importance to society: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement.
NCS Ambassador and Blues Goalkeeper Ted Smith is a big supporter of the programme: "I'm really proud to be chosen as NCS ambassador for SUCET as I am a graduate myself.
"I think NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of activities and challenges whilst building new friendships and benefitting the local community.
"Ultimately, NCS lays a solid foundation for these guys to go on confidently and achieve whatever they want in the future."
In Southend, the NCS programme is delivered by SUCET, with the support of teens who have already graduated from the programme, and made its mark on people's lives and the local community. Participants enjoy a number of fun-filled team activities while away on a residential retreat, before returning to South East Essex to help local charities raise money through various different community-based events, like sponsored walks, fun days and other such events.
Almost 400,000 young people have completed the NCS programme to date, giving up an incredible 11.7 million hours to social action projects since NCS started.
Hayley Wren , NCS Co-ordinator at SUCET believes that more young people in Southend can benefit from NCS: “I would encourage any young person to take part in NCS. It is a unique opportunity where you can develop life and employability skills, make new friends and have lots of fun.”
Follow #NCSMatchDay to keep up to date.