ISLE of Wight youth sailing charity UKSA has celebrated the success of more than 100 young people who took part in its citizenship programme over the summer.

A total of 125 young people, including 121 from the Isle of Wight, completed the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme over the holidays.

At a graduation ceremony, held at Thorness Bay Holiday Park, attendees aged between 15 and 17 were congratulated on their hard work in raising £5,000 for local charities and good causes.

During the three-week NCS summer activity programme, delivered by UKSA, the youngsters completed social action projects, raising awareness and running events to support a number of organisations — Mountbatten, The Final Straw, Surfers Against Sewage, Cherry Trees Care Home, Old Charlston House Care Home, the Salvation Army, Layla’s Trust, The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust and Animal Welfare Isle of Wight.

Along with the charitable work undertaken, the young people were given the opportunity to get out of the classroom and into the great outdoors, discovering talents and making lifelong friends.

The programme is specifically designed for teenagers to try something totally different after a busy school year of course work, revision and exams.

UKSA chief executive Ben Willows said: “The NCS programme fits perfectly with UKSA as it’s an extension of the type of work we already do with young people.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity for them to have a greater awareness of their local community, actively raising funds and awareness of these deserving charities.”

The NCS programme is made up of three phases — a week-long residential stay at Calshot Activities Centre, a further weeklong residential stay at UKSA, followed by a non-residential week at UKSA.

Due to government funding, the cost of the programme is only £50 for the three weeks, with the total value of the programme being in the region of £1,500.

Will Satterley, UKSA education manager, said: “The benefits of the programme are almost immeasurable as our NCS programme offers young people experience living away from home.

“Over the course of the programme they overcame challenges, pushed themselves into new and exciting territories and made friends for life.”

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