Sir Roger Gale MP Visits Community-Minded Teens Posted 10th August 2017

On Wednesday 26th  July 2017, Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet, visited the University of Kent at Canterbury to take part in a Dragons Den activity, where 120 teens taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) were pitching their social action projects as part of the skills building week of the youth empowerment programme.

NCS is a unique opportunity for 15-17 year olds to develop life and employability skills, make new friends, and create and deliver a community project of their choice, addressing a local issue for the benefit of others. The NCS programme is delivered across Kent by charity, CXK, and will see the teens collectively donate over 3,500 hours to social action over the next two weeks, whilst aiming to raise thousands of pounds for local charities and causes.

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At the University, Sir Roger joined a panel of high profile Kent business people including Kent Police Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott; Melanie Scott, Director of Client Services at Facts International; and Dan Maudhub, Managing Director at the Wonderful Creative Agency. The panel was greeted by the teams of participating young people and their team leaders, who pitched details of the social action projects they had designed to deliver within their local communities as part of the programme; and received from the Dragons valuable advice and guidance to help shape their social action endeavours.

The teams presented ideas for a range of projects; from the launch of a local music festival to raise funds to support Alzeimers awareness through to a loyalty card aimed at Ashford teens, which would incentivise young people to donate volunteering hours to social action in exchange for rewards from local retailers.

The winning teams, from Dover, put forward an innovative plan to help tackle the issue of homelessness within the area. They planned to create of a homelessness box, which could transform into a blanket with waterproof outside layer and insulated inside layer. The box had been designed to contain a variety of essentials; from food and clothing through to sanitary items. Once designed and created, the boxes would be distributed to the homeless through a local homelessness charity. The teams were awarded £600 to help boost their project start-up.

Sir Roger Gale commented: “"Each of the eight teams that presented to us offered imaginative ideas and several of the participants showed great courage in placing their very personal experiences on the line in support of the causes that they were promoting. “It was a hard call but in the end we agreed unanimously that the two Dover teams targeting homelessness were the best of a very good bunch. We all hope that they and the other participants bring their projects to fruition"”

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