McCausland praises young people at citizenship graduation

From their involvement in cross community murals to charity fundraising, more than 200 young people have been praised for their positive work as part of the National Citizen’s Service Programme.

Over the past two years more than 400 young people have been involved in the project which aims to promote positive action among the youth, helping them make a contribution to society.

Since 2012 projects have included raising £1,000 has been raised for Foyle Search and Rescue and clearing a pathway allowing children to get to school safely.

On Saturday Nelson McCausland, Minister for Social Development, congratulated the 230 young people who graduated at a ceremony in Belfast.

Mr McCausland said: “What these young people have achieved has surpassed expectations and I congratulate all of them for their efforts and endeavours.

“From what I have seen on my various visits to teams involved in the programme, and from accounts from others involved, I am very proud of how NCS has given young people from across Northern Ireland the chance to learn new skills and get more involved in their communities.

A number of youth and community organisations, led by Co-operation Ireland, work together to deliver the programme on behalf of the UK government and endorsed by the Department for Social Development locally in Northern Ireland.

Peter Sheridan, CEO of Co-operation Ireland said the programme is one way of helping young people to stay away from violence and trouble on our streets.

“Providing opportunities for young people from all walks of life to meet and get to know one another is the cornerstone of a shared society. It encourages respect for the individual and an appreciation of the bigger picture.

“This graduation event exemplifies the importance of engaging our young people in positive action-based initiatives. So if we are to deal with the problems recently seen on our streets and prevent future violence, we need to give even more young people the opportunity to take part in projects such as NCS”.

There are 500 places available for the Summer 2014 programme. Anyone aged between 15 and 17 who is interested in joining can