Charlton Athletic’s National Citizen Service challenges youngsters to come out of their comfort zone

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Charlton Athletic are challenging youngsters to come out of their comfort zone as part of the club’s National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme.

Run by Charlton Athletic Community Trust’s (CACT), Saturday’s game against Fleetwood showcased the positive benefits the initiative has on young people while urging others to get involved.

As part of pre-match activities, a mobile climbing wall and escape room were set-up outside the West Stand as a fun way to reflect how the NCS initiative requires youngsters to push themselves both as individuals and as part of a team.

Now in its 11th year, the club’s scheme helps young people aged between 15-17 learn valuable life skills such as independent living or planning and delivering a project which not only enhances employability but also supports the local community.

Belina, 17, completed the NCS around a year ago and told London Football Scene how the scheme helped open doors for her.

“The NCS was a huge stepping stone for me, it enabled me to experience and confront challenges head on, and go out of my comfort zone,” Belina said.

“My time at NCS has proved invaluable as it allowed me to build good relationships with organisers and provided me with some solid references helping me secure work experience in the hospitality and healthcare industries.”

The NCS also has a graduate scheme where those who have completed the initial NCS course can do further work in various areas. 

One such participant is 18-year-old Sinmi who spoke about how the scheme helped her become passionate about community work.

“The NCS exposed me to community work which is something I really enjoyed with the graduate scheme helping me even further to give back to NCS and learn new skills,” Sinmi said.

Last year the NCS helped empower and develop more than 1,500 young people across Greenwich, Bexley and Kent with Charlton’s continued support invaluable for the programme to continue to grow.

READ MORE: Charlton Athletic’s Street Violence Ruins Lives campaign continues to create an inspirational legacy

Dan Morrin, who leads CACT’s collaboration with the NCS, told London Football Scene: “The Charlton badge gives the NCS power, it gives us the credibility to go into schools and engage with young people.

“The club’s reach is massively helpful, as via the use of Charlton’s social media channels it allows us to reach a large audience across the region.”

By encouraging youngsters to participate, the NCS has also seen a positive impact on the local community.

A bridge in Tunbridge Wells where suicides are common has been decorated with inspirational quotes and messages to remind those who are on the brink that life is still worth living.

Other examples include raising money for mental health charities and making food boxes for the homeless.

For more information on the scheme or to register for the Summer 2022 programme, visit the NCS website or call 0800 197 8010.

All photos provided courtesy of Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT).

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