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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. More here.

Live webchat with Big Society Minister Nick Hurd MP

(115 Posts)
KatieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Mar-12 15:59:48


We're pleased to welcome Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, for a webchat on the government's National Citizen Service on Thursday 8th March from 1pm- 2pm. Also joining us will be 16-year-old Kiran Dhingra-Smith from Stratford, London, who recently completed the programme with National Citizen Service Provider the Football League Trust.

The National Citizen Service aims to aims to encourage integration of young people from diverse backgrounds helping them learn new life skills - and both our guests are looking forward to answering your questions on the programme.

Do post your question live on Thursday, but as ever, if you're not able to join us - please do post away below.



MrsMicawber Wed 07-Mar-12 16:19:14

Thursday is Purim all the joosh posters will be guzzling busy.


Anyway, I'd like to hear about the program.

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 07-Mar-12 17:09:31

How is this scheme funded? tbh, it looks like a good thing. shock

Petunia12 Wed 07-Mar-12 19:30:39

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

bananaistheanswer Wed 07-Mar-12 20:37:40

Sounds like a rip-off of the Princes' Trust.

Petunia12 Wed 07-Mar-12 20:51:06

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 07-Mar-12 21:06:31

Hi Petunia12: please note that the webchat guidelines ask posters to be civil and polite. We've deleted your posts.

senua Wed 07-Mar-12 22:05:42

I don't understand the timing of the scheme. It seems to happen in the summer after the end of Year 11, after GCSEs. At this stage, children have already decided their next step and applied for sixth form, college or work.
Wouldn't it make more sense to have the scheme at the end of Year 10, to inspire them to make choices (that they might not have made otherwise) during the upcoming Year 11?

Crumblemum Wed 07-Mar-12 22:25:14

I'd like to ask Kiran a question. Was it difficult deciding to join the scheme or were you always keen? On projects I've been involved with (which weren't of the same scale) it was really difficult persuading people to get involved.

OPIorange Wed 07-Mar-12 22:47:32


Could you please provide a quick rundown of exactly what the National Citizens Service is for those of us too lazy busy to read the bumph? blush

FranciscanTrip Wed 07-Mar-12 23:05:06

I represent a community group that has been forced to give our time to a local library after the local council withdrew most of its funding. The library, which is in a very deprived area (top 5% most deprived in the UK) would otherwise have closed, and is well used by young people locally. We are struggling to get as many volunteers as we need from the local community, despite the fact that the library is well used and appreciated in the local area (this is largely because the people who live nearby are too busy simply getting by to give any time to 'volunteer') and so something like NCS could be useful to us in getting young, local people engaged in a genuinely local project. How do we get involved in this? Could NCS help us to get longer term young volunteers (not just one week)? Thanks.

senua Wed 07-Mar-12 23:27:53

FT youngsters doing the Duke of Edinburgh have to do long term volunteering as part of the Award - would they be of any use to you?

madwomanintheattic Thu 08-Mar-12 01:05:43

The website is lovely, v glossy and appealing to young people. It doesn't really give much information though... Just a 'send this form for info' tab...

What percentage of young people who apply will be accepted for the scheme and how is the selection done? It would be a huge shame if the kids who are motivated and actively taking part in d of e etc were to miss out just because they are already motivated, but by the same token, I can see that more disenfranchised youth might be a preferable target... And I can't imagine there are anywhere near enough slots for all yr 11s...

FranciscanTrip Thu 08-Mar-12 09:18:43

Will look into DoE thanks!

VenetiaLanyon Thu 08-Mar-12 10:08:53

Hi Nick,

What do you specifically feel is lacking at the moment in society that this programme is aiming to address?

Is it the lack of involvement of people of all ages in community projects, is it a lack of specific skills and confidence to tackle new ventures, or do you feel that people from different backgrounds don't mingle enought to understand each other's issues?

In other words, how are you expecting this programme to benefit society as a whole?

Thanks smile

TheBlackShiksa Thu 08-Mar-12 10:50:40

Do you think 2 weeks is really enough time for kids to learn life skills? How are we paying for this? And what about disadvantaged or troubled youngsters? Don't you think by 16 they're often 'too far gone' to be reached or respond to authority?

TheBlackShiksa Thu 08-Mar-12 10:53:47

What do you think about the work experience programme? And the Labour Force Survey's figures that 44% of young black people (18-24) are unemployed as opposed to 20% of white youngsters? What are you doing about this and how will the NCS help?

Crumblemum Thu 08-Mar-12 11:02:25

Can I ask another question? What was it like growing up with a politician as a parent? Do you have kids and worry about what it's like for them - or was it a good experience?

fiftieshousewife Thu 08-Mar-12 11:05:10

Hello Kiran,

Can you tell us what you did on your programme, and how you think it will be useful to you? Are you going back into full-time education, or are you going to go into employment now?

poppyseeds99 Thu 08-Mar-12 11:15:00

Nick Hurd, did you do this kind of scheme, Duke of Edinburgh or equivalent, when you were younger? Shouldn't we be focussing on the improvement of our schools and the standard of education, rather than sending children off to two week Citizen Service placements?

BoffinMum Thu 08-Mar-12 11:42:36

Hello Nick,

Over here in Boffinland, some of us are at present trying to write an academic paper on certain aspects of the Big Society, but I must confess there has been a collective realisation amongst myself and colleagues that we are not actually sure what it is, as messages seem a bit confused at the moment. We think we know what you mean by this term, from manifestos and policy documents and media reports and so on, but we are not entirely sure. Could you point us towards an exact definition, please? If there is one? Or would you say defining it is a work in progress?

Many thanks,
BoffinMum and team

BoffinMum Thu 08-Mar-12 11:47:52

Gosh, here already, very keen ...

LineRunner Thu 08-Mar-12 11:58:01

May I ask, what on earth is going on on this thread?

FrancesMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 08-Mar-12 12:00:22

Sorry Boffin Mum just testing here and accidentally deleted your message! Sorry!

LineRunner Thu 08-Mar-12 12:03:09

Oh, you were testing! It looked like Nick Hurd was posting filth and you were having to delete it.

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