At Saturday’s Middlesbrough vs. West Ham game, local graduates from the National Citizen’s Service (NCS) will enjoy VIP treatment as they join the players on the pitch to launch NCS Match Day, a special event organised by MFC Foundation.
A handful of lucky Boro fans who are NCS graduates will be going to the game as special guests of the Club to mingle with star players including George Friend, Marten de Roon and Alvaro Negredo.
The players will be wearing NCS branded t-shirts in the warm-up before they face the Hammers, with an NCS banner also paraded around the stadium and on the pitch as the squad walk out of the tunnel at 3pm.
The event, supported by Middlesbrough Football Club and MFC Foundation, will launch the national two week NCS Match Day activity, highlighting the positive work that young people have done in their local community. NCS Match Day is the brainchild of the English Football League Trust, and delivered by English league clubs right across the country.
NCS is a nationwide experience for year 11s and 12s. It is a chance for teens to shake things up and develop new skills for whatever post-GCSE life has to throw at them. It changes how teens see the world and has a huge impact on communities across the UK with over 1.9 million hours of social action taking place across the country – the equivalent to building 74 Olympic Stadiums and 1 The Great Wall of China.
Football fan and NCS grad Connor Harris, 16, from Middlesbrough, said: “NCS has been an amazing experience. It’s not a chance that is offered to you every day; it’s a once in a life time opportunity.
“NCS has developed me into a mature young adult and has equipped me with many life skills which will benefit me in the future.”
By being part of NCS, Connor had the opportunity to spend time working in the Riverside Stadium, cheering on the team during a live Premier League match, and working with top football coaches at MFC Foundation. Other footie fans who want to get involved can register at www.ncsefltrust.co.uk or www.vinspired.com/ncs.
Defender George Friend is a big supporter of the programme: “I’m really proud to be chosen as NCS Ambassador for Middlesbrough Football Club Foundation.
"I think NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of activities and challenges whilst building new friendships and benefitting the local community.
"Ultimately, NCS lays a solid foundation for these guys to go on confidently and achieve whatever they want in the future."
In Middlesbrough, the NCS programme is delivered by MFC Foundation, with the support of teens who have already graduated from the programme, and has made its mark on people’s lives and the local community. Participants enjoy a number of fun-filled team activities while away on a residential retreat, before returning to Teesside to help local charities raise money through various different community-based events, like car washes and cycling on an exercise bike in the Cleveland Centre. Over 300,000 young people have now participated in NCS.
Claire Streeter, NCS Co-ordinator at MFC Foundation believes that more young people in Middlesbrough can benefit from NCS: “I would encourage any young person to take part in NCS. It is a unique opportunity where you can develop life and employability skills, make new friends and have lots of fun.”