National Citizen Service Bill [Lords]

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 6:22 pm on 16th January 2017.

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Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Conservative, North Swindon 6:22 pm, 16th January 2017

I thank my hon. Friend for that really powerful intervention. He highlights the real boost that these projects can bring to the local community, and the difference that the team in his area has made is a credit to it.

Many speakers have been tempted to suggest how we can tweak what we are doing and how we can empower people. The dreaded “Brexit” word was even mentioned. Please do not do this. Please do not ruin something that is working so well. There is nothing worse than out-of-touch adults prescribing what young people want. The vast majority of this country’s youth clubs started to fail because “right-on” adults decided to prescribe what the young people should be doing. This scheme is a success because the students have been allowed to shape it. The NCS Youth Board is integral to what the scheme delivers. Its members know best because they have done it, they are young and they still understand what young people want. I know that we are well-meaning, but please let the young people decide how to do this. Our involvement should be as mentors and supporters, showcasing the work and highlighting in the local media the very best that our young people can offer. That is something that the parents are extremely grateful for.