Charity to test concept of National Citizen Service

By Janaki Mahadevan

| 31 March 2009

A programme resembling the model of the Conservatives' flagship youth policy, the National Citizen Service, is to be piloted this summer.

Young Adult Trust. Credit: Malcolm Case-Green

The Challenge, run by the social reform organisation ShaftesburyPartnership, will invite young people in Year 11 living in the Londonboroughs of Southwark and Hammersmith & Fulham to undertake challengesaimed at teaching leadership, management and communication skills.

In 2007, the Tories proposed a voluntary National Citizen Serviceprogramme, aimed at engaging 16-year-olds in personal development andcommunity activities. The idea grew from the work of the Young AdultTrust, run by Tory leader David Cameron's youth policy adviser PaulOginsky.

Doug Fraley, leadership director of The Challenge, said: "The programmeis quite different in some specific elements of the finding of theNational Citizen Service policy group but it has the same overallaims.

"Although we are independent, I am sure the Conservative Party will beinterested to see how things go with a view to testing potential modelsfor its National Citizen Service.

"We are putting something together that will be competitive with otherproviders if the Conservatives do get in to power and need to commissionan organisation to run its programme."

One hundred and eighty young people will take part in the three-weekprogramme in June and August.

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