David Blunkett, MP for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, met young people in Sheffield who are doing National Citizen Service this summer with Sheffield Wednesday Community Programme and The Football League Trust.

Young people across Sheffield are embarking on the summer of a lifetime as they spend three weeks making a difference to their local community while developing crucial life skills.

David Blunkett, who is himself a fan of Sheffield Wednesday, met young people undertaking NCS at Winn Gardens Estate and Hillsborough Library, where they have been organising activities to benefit the community including Olympic and football activities for local children, reading and craft with toddlers, helping clear the River Don, litter picking, and creating an art mural with children from Winn Gardens to be displayed on the local football court.

National Citizen Service gives young people the opportunity to gain valuable life experience and new skills, and make friends from all walks of life. Evidence from the first year suggests that the programme helps teenagers prepare themselves for their future.

Young people who take part get the chance to do outdoor activities, meet new people and put something back into their local community. It offers the chance to learn new skills and get experience that helps with CVs or college applications. It takes place over three week's full time and then 30 hours are spent making the local community a better place.

National Citizen Service brings young people together from different backgrounds to work together, and teaches them what it means to be responsible and serve their communities.

David Blunkett, MP, said: "It is fantastic to see such committed and motivated young people giving something back to their communities whilst they are participating in National Citizen Service.

"I am very pleased that The Football League Trust are delivering to the youngsters in North Sheffield and hope this will be the beginning of a longer term commitment by both the youngsters and those who have laid on the programme to build both volunteering and a sense of community."

Ryan Priest, NCS Participant from Winn Gardens Estate said, "It has been amazing; I have made lots of new mates, and have done loads of activities I have never tried before.

"I have enjoyed organising projects in my local area, especially creating the mural which we have designed and are getting children from the estate to paint at the end of the week"

Mike Evans, General Manager of The Football League Trust said: "We are delighted that David was able to take time out of his busy schedule to see NCS in action in Sheffield today.

"Our education work with 16 and 17 year olds continues to develop massively and NCS is a key part of this transitional phase in a young person's journey through life.

"Sheffield Wednesday's Community Programme has delivered a fantastic NCS programme for two years now and it is becoming a key part of our offer to young people, along with foundation learning, BTEC's and apprenticeships."