The Voice winner Jermain Jackman inspires teenagers in East Durham

East Durham teenagers who are spending their holidays taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS) have been treated to a special visit from The Voice 2014 winner Jermain Jackman.

Jermain spoke to the teenagers about the life changing opportunities presented to him when he said yes to the flagship youth programme in 2012; making him one of the very first participants of NCS.

Visiting Peterlee’s East Durham College, Jermain explained how NCS helped him overcome challenges such as speaking in front of audiences a, as well as giving him the confidence to follow his dreams; which he achieved when winning The Voice in 2014, aged just 19.

The singer’s next goal in life is to enter politics and one day become Prime Minister of the UK.

The group of 60 teenagers are currently on their third week of NCS having previously travelled to the Yorkshire Dales to complete a week of adventure, meeting new people and gaining confidence. During the second week, living in university-style accommodation in Durham, they built new skills ready for work and life.

Now, the group are spending time planning youth-led community projects that will make a difference to their local area – and Jermain was able to give advice to the teenagers about possible ideas to improve Peterlee, Easington and surrounding areas.

In excess of 100,000 16 and 17 year olds nationally signed up to this summer’s NCS programme, including over 5,000 from the North East alone.

Jermain said: “Young people on the NCS programme can achieve whatever they want to achieve. NCS provides the tools, knowledge and the skills to carve out your own future and reach your potential.”

Addressing the young participants, Jermain added: “You can achieve greatness. Just put your mind to it and work hard.”

16 year olds Emily Trippett and Robyn Mitchell, school leavers from The Academy at Shotton Hall and Dene Community School respectively, enjoyed the opportunity of hearing from and meeting Jermain.

Emily, from Shotton, said: “I’m a budding singer and I asked Jermain for some tips. He told me that I shouldn’t worry about what other people think and that I should believe in myself and know that I’m good.”

Robyn, from Horden, said: “I really enjoyed Jermain’s talk. He has motivated me to become more confident in my life choices and his experiences made me want to do more for myself.”

Emily added: “NCS has given me the chance to grab a new opportunity. I’ve done loads of activities that I never thought I’d do.”

In the North East NCS is delivered by a partnership between V•Inspired and National Youth Agency (NYA) with thirteen local partners from the voluntary and community sector across the region, including East Durham College.

NCS North East Contract Director Kim Smith said: “We are thrilled to have welcomed Jermain along to speak to NCS participants in Peterlee. As an NCS graduate himself, Jermain is the perfect ambassador to how young people can develop new skills and progress to successful careers.

“This group of teenagers have certainly been inspired to put together some ambitious community projects.”

The next NCS programme will be taking place during the autumn half-term and is open to 16 and 17 year olds. Teens will get a chance to experience adventure in the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales or Scottish borders and meet new friends before returning home to deliver a community project that makes a lasting impact on the local area.

NCS will never cost any young person more than £50 including food, transport and accommodation for the time away. Young people eligible for free school meals can take part for £10 or less.

To secure a place, parents or teens should visit www.ncsnortheast.co.uk or call 0191 247 4020 now.

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