STUDENTS from across Basingstoke have been taking part in a national scheme to help raise money for different charitable organisations in the area.

The National Citizens Scheme (NCS) gives young people aged between 15 and 17-years-old the opportunity to make their mark on the community and to build skills which can be transferred to work and life.

One of the organisation which has benefited from the scheme is Basingstoke NeighbourCare, where a group managed to raise more than £1,600 in three different events, including a coffee morning and a sponsored triathlon.

The money will enable elderly people in Basingstoke to stay independent and remain in their own homes.

Basingstoke’s MP Maria Miller praised the youngsters who were taking part in the NCS.

Mrs Miller learnt what a group of teenagers from Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT) had been doing during the programme.

The MP said: “The National Citizen Service gives young people a fantastic opportunity to get involved in new and challenging activities, grow in confidence, get new skills for work and life, work together to plan and deliver a project to benefit their community, and to meet new people.

“From talking to the participants today, it is also clear that they are having a great time and would thoroughly recommend the scheme to friends and family.”

She added: “It is great news that the National Citizen Service is going from strength to strength in Basingstoke, with around 250 students taking part locally this year.”

During the scheme students had taken part in two week-long visits, including to a residential outdoors activity centre.

During Mrs Miller’s visit the group were designing and planning a fundraising project, to be carried out the following week.

One group were planning a quiz night at the Chineham Scout Hall to raise funds for the Two Saints homeless shelter in Basingstoke, and had to “pitch” to a Dragon’s Den style panel to secure a loan to seed fund their project.

To find out more about the NCS visit