By William Mills
Home Secretary Amber Rudd MP spoke of her admiration for the National Citizen Service youth empowerment programme which helps young people expand their horizons.
When asked if she believed mobile phones and social media should be banned from NCS courses she responded by saying;
I think you will have to speak to the NCS directors and team leaders on that.
What I’ve seen here is a lot of young people who weren’t looking at their phones.
They were completely absorbed in their projects enjoying themselves planning, thinking, getting ready for social action projects.
It has just been a hugely positive experience seeing what they are doing, and seeing their enthusiasm.
There weren’t many phones involved.
Question: Hastings has got a reputation for having a high crime rate. Is a scheme like this vital for this particular area?
Well I don’t think Hastings does have that reputation. Hastings is a fantastic town with a lot to offer and a great tourism centre as well as a great place to live and work.
So I think this NCS 4 week event is a programme that all young people can benefit from, and it has been a great pleasure to see so many from Hastings particularly enjoying themselves today.
The great thing about the NCS is it an opportunity for young people to do really positive things.
Today we have seen a great demonstration by young people demonstrating how constructive they can be, and what fantastic members of their community they have been by raising quite large sums of money to help local charities.
There was one who went down to the charity first, talked about what they needed then raised the money and then got it to them. Really, a huge generosity of spirit as well as high achievement.
Question: What did you most enjoy about this afternoon?
I have really enjoyed talking to the young people.
I really enjoyed hearing their enthusiasm. Young people don’t always get a good rap but today made one think how fantastic they are with their great commitment and generosity wanting to help other people in their community if they are given the structure to do it.
And the NCS clearly does.
Question: What do you most enjoy about being Home Secretary?
I’m going to come back to you on that. It has only been a few weeks. I’m still working on it.