26 August 2021

Young people from Cornwall have been given the opportunity to grow in confidence, learn new skills and quiz a Secretary of State thanks to a government-funded programme delivered by South West Lakes.

NCS (National Citizen Service) is a once-in-a-lifetime, nationwide, government-funded experience for young people between the ages of 16 and 17 to enjoy during their summer holidays, helping them to become world-ready and work-ready. We are a Delivery Partner to NCS Trust.

The NCS experience empowers and encourages young people to make themselves heard and engage with their local area, as well as to become more independent, meet new people and make friends that can last a lifetime.

During their two-week programme with us, a group of young people from Bodmin were able to participate in an online conversation with George Eustice, MP for Camborne and Redruth and Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. During the 30-minute session they covered a number of current issues and had the opportunity to ask their own questions.

The Rt Hon George Eustice MP said: “It was great to meet young people from the South West Lakes NCS programme recently. South West Lakes run the NCS programme for Devon and Cornwall, organising events, and social action projects. We discussed issues such as the G7, environmental policy and climate change.”

During the week preceding their conversation, the team took part in challenging activities to help develop their strength of character and a series of workshops to further their essential skills for work and life.

During their second week they undertook the ‘Do Good’ element of the programme. This included organising extensive beach cleans on both the north and south coasts of Cornwall, collecting over 60kg of rubbish during their few days on the beaches.

One of the young people on the programme said: “It was really nice to get the chance to ask the questions and get Mr Eustice’s insights to some of the issues we face as a country from his perspective. We had the chance to question some of the policies and get explanations for certain things regarding climate change and environment policies, it was really good.”

Ian Morgan, Head of NCS for South West Lakes, said: “This was a great chance for the young people to pose their questions to George and also for some of them to put him on the spot, which was interesting, but he answered everything and gave some real insight to why things are not always straightforward. Some of the changes he discussed and explained to the young people really did answer some of the questions before they were even asked and I genuinely think that they all appreciated his time, as did I. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Mr Eustice for giving up his time to spend it with one of our programmes and hope we can do it again in the future.”

Find out more about the NCS programme here or here

About us 

We believe engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Our reservoirs and lakes are home to many wonderful animals and boast important habitats and built historic sites. We pride ourselves on enabling people of all abilities to enjoy these special locations by providing access both on and off the water. It’s your outdoors – come and explore.