Living and learning

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It’s called National Service but it’s not a throwback to the 50s.

The ethos is similar though, helping our young people develop skills and confidence while giving something back to their community.

And all credit to Sheffield’s youngsters - they’ve embraced this Government initiative enthusiastically, as have our leading sports clubs.

Gone are the days when a spell as a Saturday girl - or boy - as a teenager was guaranteed to provide life-skills and work readiness, as well as useful cash.

Today’s teens find it really hard to gain the experience, and skills, to prepare them for life after school.

This programme gives them that chance, along with also building the confidence to go out there as a young adult and forge their own path.

They also have the satisfaction that comes with making a real and valuable contribution to their community.

It’s real work they are doing - restoring parks for example - that is of tangible benefit to people’s lives.

It really is the “Big Society” - that oft maligned concept- in action.

And what’s equally important to a teen, they make new mates.