Derby County Community Trust’s popular NCS programme has returned after initial plans were delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.

NCS is a national initiative for 16 and 17 year olds to build their independence, employability and communication skills.

Each year, the Community Trust take hundreds of Derby’s teenagers away to learn new skills and give them the chance to give something back to their local communities. This year is no different, undeterred by a global pandemic, and the young people want to get out there and volunteer their time to make a positive difference.

Identified as a key area for provision this summer, the Food Hub set up by Derby County as part of the ‘Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Connected.’ initiative back in April will be led by a team of enthusiastic youngsters throughout the summer.

They will be encouraging donations of food, fundraising and supporting other projects important to the community at this difficult time.

Key dates for food donations will be throughout the weeks commencing 3rd and 17th August.

Other aspects will including supporting the EFL Trust’s new loneliness project, aimed at supporting those who may have become isolated in the current climate.

This will include supporting the delivery of care packages, providing information to get them up to date on how to use technology to keep in touch and creating ‘loneliness cushions’ designed using photos or memories of their loved ones.

Simon Doherty, NCS Project Manager at Derby County Community Trust, said: “We have been working hard to try to ensure that Derby’s young people still get the opportunity to make a difference this summer in line with all new relevant safety measures.

“Although the summer has changed, we knew that our teenagers would still be committed to making a positive change. It is heart-warming to see how enthusiastic they are to get out there and help.

“We are really looking forward to them supporting the local community in a number of ways as part of the ongoing response to the pandemic and its effects in Derby.”

To follow the progress of the project you can keep up to date on Derby County Community Trust’s social media channels.

To support the food banks across the city, the Pride Park Food Donation Hub is open from 10am-2pm each Monday and Thursday and will be open all week on the two action weeks commencing 3rd and 17th August.