Sheffield youngsters step up to challenge

Sheffield MPs David Blunkett and Clive Betts visited a group of young people taking part in Groundwork's National Citizen Service.
Sheffield MPs David Blunkett and Clive Betts visited a group of young people taking part in Groundwork's National Citizen Service.
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Teenagers taking part in a challenging Citizen Service programme showed off their work to Sheffield MPs.

Clive Betts, who represents Sheffield South East, and David Blunkett, MP for Brightside and Hillsborough, visited 16 and 17-year-olds volunteering with environment charity Groundwork.

While the two Labour MPs found out about the programme, the youngsters, who were from across South Yorkshire, were invited to ask them questions.

And there were no punches pulled with one youngster asking Mr Betts about his suspension from Parliament 10 years ago, over irregularities involving the employment and visa of a student.

One of the young volunteers, Halah Gabar, aged 16, from Burngreave, Sheffield, said: “It was a great opportunity to meet the MPs and for them to answer our questions.”

Mr Blunkett, who has joined the board of the National Citizen Service programme, said: “The transition between adolescence and adulthood is one of the most challenging times of our lives.

“National Citizen Service is a real contribution to recognising the maturing into adulthood, self-awareness and the real contribution that young people can make to the wellbeing of those around them.

“Giving to others is its own reward.

“That is why I’m very pleased to have joined the board of National Citizen Service nationally, and to be able to celebrate the excellent local support being given to young people taking on the programme of volunteering, participation and active citizenship, at local level.”

Groundwork South Yorkshire works in disadvantaged communities around the county on environmental projects.

The organisation is one of numerous providers of National Citizen Service, which aims to develop youngsters’ leadership, teamwork and communication.

■ Youngsters interested in taking part in NCS programmes with Groundwork should call 0114 2636420.