Jermain, winner of The Voice in 2014, is an ambassador for NCS having completed the flagship youth programme himself in 2011. He visited teens from Amber Valley and High Peak staying at the University of Nottingham as part of their four-week NCS adventure.
NCS is a once–in-a-lifetime opportunity open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. It is a unique two or four week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, with participants volunteering at least 30 hours to a community project they create to address an issue important to them. The programme is designed to create a more cohesive society by mixing young teenagers from a wide variety of backgrounds, while supporting their transition into adulthood by enabling them to develop essential skills for work and life.
Jermain takes an active interest in programmes benefitting young people. He spoke to the NCS participants and gave a talk on personal success and leadership, followed by a question and answer session. He said:
"It's inspiring and heart-warming to come back to NCS, meeting the young people, seeing what the programme gives them and how much it means to them. I love coming in to speak to them – I want to tell them that when an opportunity comes, grab it!
"For everyone doing NCS, the knowledge and skills that they gain is what separates them from everyone else. The programme gave me the confidence to achieve my ambitions. It's an experience I'd encourage everyone to embrace."
For Guy Laroussi, 16 and a student at Belper Sixth Form Centre, meeting Jermain was an inspiration. He said: "At first I was quite nervous to meet Jermain, but the more I talked to him, I found him a really down-to-earth and humble guy. He showed me that NCS has made me gain so much more confidence and he inspired me to push forward in life a lot more. He taught me to never give up on what I want to achieve and to keep on challenging myself."
Fellow pupil, Jade Sadler, 16, was equally impressed with Jermain's support of the NCS programme.
"It was really interesting to have the session with Jermain today," said Jade. "He was really intrigued by what we had to say and happy to give his opinions on things to help us. He seemed really passionate about helping other people and doing things for the community."
After the excitement of the visit, the teens completed their fun-packed day with a powder-paint zombie run. They will now go on to devise and implement a social action project to benefit their local communities.