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Sports minister meets inspirational young people

Sports minister meets inspirational young people

Midlandsteenagers who are working hard to help other young people in their communities through the National Citizens Service (NCS) were given further encouragement when they met Sports Minister Hugh Robertson.

The youngsters, who are among the first to join the community empowerment initiative, were at the Youth Hostel Association in the National Forest, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, taking part in a sports training course.

Pertemps Coachright brought the group of young people, aged 15 and 16, from Walsall, Sandwell, Coventry and Warwickshire together at the YHA National Forest, to help develop their skills and prepare them for delivering the social action programme back in their own communities.

The week was phase three of their involvement in the National Citizen Service (NCS), and their second week being away on a residential course. They are part of the NCS Catch 22 partnership, which is one of 12 NCS pilot schemes nationally.

Mr Robertson, Minister for Sport and the Olympics, said: “I was extremely interested to see the work being done with young people through the National Citizens Service, using sport to develop leadership skills. I was impressed by the efforts of all those involved including the young people I met on the day.”

Rob Houlston, of Pertemps Coachright, said: “It was fantastic that Mr Robertson was able to meet a group of young people who are determined to make a difference in their communities. They are working hard to gain the skills they require and it has been a pleasure to see how they have all developed during the training.

“During the programme they have gained sports leader qualifications and started to plan activities they can deliver back in their communities which will make a real difference to other young people. They have also spent a week together in Snowdonia, Wales, where they took part in a variety of activities that really took them out of their comfort zones including while rock climbing, gorge walking and climbing a mountain.

“Already we have really seen the positive impact of the programme, from the cohesion of the group - bringing together young people from a variety of backgrounds who didn't know each prior to the first residential - to the improvement in every individual’s confidence and overall belief in themselves .”

Rob added: “The visit by Hugh Robertson was hugely beneficial to the group and really highlighted what a fantastic programme this is to all involved. At the heart of the programme is personal development, and helping to stimulate young people’s minds to what they can achieve and put back into their local communities.”

Andrea Donkin, aged 16, from Leamington Spa, said: “I really enjoyed the activities in Wales - they were fun and adventurous. This week I have learned new skills around leadership and I feel more confident. I've really enjoyed meeting new people and am looking forward to the opportunity of delivering some activities back in my own community.”

Pertemps Coachright is a sports based social inclusion programme operating across the West Midlands and beyond. Much of the work it does, in some of the hardest to reach communities, utilises sport as a vehicle to achieve a multitude of positive outcomes.

Pertemps Coachright is part of employment and training experts Pertemps People Development Group (PPDG). PPDG’s team of employment experts provides advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives and many programmes financed by the European Social Fund. PPDG came fourth in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2011.


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