A PROGRAMME launched to train the citizens of tomorrow has already helped hundreds of young people to make their mark in the town.

The National Citizen Service (NCS), which is run by the Warrington Youth Club, aims to put teenagers in the heart of the community and encourage them to make a real difference to the place where they live.

The scheme was set up to help 16 and 17-year-olds to build life and work skills.

NCS programme manager Emma Reid said: “We have 210 young people taking part in our NCS this summer from across Warrington - our biggest NCS group to date. The programme is growing in popularity year on year and it’s clear to see why.

“NCS provides an excellent opportunity for 16 to 17 year olds to gain new skills, develop confidence, challenge themselves and make a difference to their community, while having fun and making new friends.”

While many young people will have spent their summer holidays catching up on sleep, teenager Luke Monks decided to use the time productively.

Luke, from Appleton, has recently completed the NCS and believes the programme has helped to boost his confidence.

The 16-year-old, who is planning to attend Priestley College in September, said: “I used to be a very shy person and used to find it difficult to talk to new people but the NCS has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone.”

The summer programme last for four weeks and aims to give young people the encouragement to reach their potential while working with charities on social action projects that will benefit the community.

Speaking about the recent cohort of young people to pass the NCS, Emma said: “I am extremely proud of our NCS programme and of the young people and their capabilities.

“They have made an outstanding contribution to their communities and Warrington should be very proud of them.”

For more information on the NCS call 581227 or e-mail ncs@warringtonyouthclub.co.uk.

Next week: We look at how the Buddy Up scheme, which supports disabled young people to attend regular social activities with the support of their buddy, has made a real difference to one youngster’s life.

Warrington Youth Club is our charity of the month for August. Each week, we will be finding out how the club makes a real difference to young people in the community and how it aims to inspire people to reach their potential by offering a range of opportunities and services.