NCSEM1 teens take part in Centenary of Passchendaele commemoration in Belgium

NCSEM1 graduates Stephen Cheung and Chantelle Rowe, both 18, attended a special commemoration event, at the invitation of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DDCMS), marking 100 years since the World War One Battle of Passchendaele, which led to an estimated 250,000 British and Commonwealth casualties.

Stephen from Lincoln and Chantelle from Burton Latimer were part of a group of almost 100 NCS grads who were offered the opportunity to attend the UK ceremony of remembrance in Belgium on the 30th and 31st July. This formed part of the commemorations for the First World War centenary, which saw over 4,000 people from across the UK follow their ancestors’ journey to the Western Front.

NCS grads took on important roles during the commemoration, and put the life skills they learnt on NCS to good use. Their experience on the flagship youth empowerment programme meant they had already learnt how to live away from home, got to know incredible people from different walks of life, developed skills that employers value and made a difference by volunteering for a charity or cause close to their heart. The positive impact of NCS meant that the grads felt confident about representing their generation at such an important national event.

Stephen said: “I was extremely honoured to be one of 100 NCS graduates chosen to go to Belgium for the Passchendaele 100 commemoration events in Ypres. The service exceeded my expectations and it was truly a wonderful memorial to those who fell in the battle of Passchendaele. To be a part of it was an amazing experience I’ll never forget."

Chantelle said: “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m able to say I’ve been a part of it. I’ve never been anywhere like it before and it was a shock seeing so many graves. It was quite an emotional time.”

Michael Lynas, CEO of NCS Trust, said: “100 NCS graduates were honoured to serve our country at the Centenary of Passchendaele events. I am proud of how these young people represented their generation as they met descendants, the Royal Family and the Prime Minister. I know that these young NCS graduates will help ensure that the sacrifice of the fallen will be remembered for generations to come.”

The EBP is the Regional Delivery Partner for the EM1 region of the East Midlands, with programmes running in Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Rutland.

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