National Citizen Service teenagers give gifts to Colchester Hospital

( front) Edward Nkwelle, Essex County Council youth worker, (third from right) Christabelle Woods, y

( front) Edward Nkwelle, Essex County Council youth worker, (third from right) Christabelle Woods, youth support worker. From left (lilac tops) Jessica Hayward, hospital play assistant; Susan Horton, hospital play specialist; and Carolyn Horsfield, hospital play specialist. With young people from the National Citizen Service. - Credit: Archant

A group of teenagers have given a series of board games to the children’s unit at Colchester General Hospital.

The 16- and 17-year-olds from the Colchester area have been taking part in the National Citizen Service programme.

As well as creating an anti-bullying campaign the group of 15 raised £226.38 by hosting a summer fete, and spent the money on the games for the hospital ward.

They chose the unit as three of them had been patients there in the past.

They also wanted to give teenagers more things to do while they are patients in the hospital, particularly over the festive period.

Lynda Pearce, matron of children’s services, said: “On behalf of the Children’s Unit, I would like to thank these young people for their thoughtfulness in choosing to support our patients.”

The National Citizen Service scheme helps to teach life skills, and also gives young people the opportunity to take part in different outdoor activities, volunteer on community projects and, once completed, walk away with a certificate recognised by the university admissions service UCAS.

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It was first piloted in Essex in 2011, and since then hundreds of young adults have taken part.

Ray Gooding, Essex county councillor for education and lifelong learning, said: “I am very proud of the efforts of these young people in designing and delivering two such fantastic social action projects that are right at the heart of their local community.

“The National Citizen Service programme has delivered some excellent results and illustrates just how hardworking and selfless many of the county’s young people are.

“The scheme offers a fantastic experience and I would encourage everyone eligible to grab the opportunity with both hands.”

To register for the National Citizen Service programme or for more information visit or call 01245 436632.