Psychology student is praised for mentoring work with young people

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A student from Wakefield has played a pivotal role in transforming young lives through his role as senior mentor at the National Citizenship Service (NCS).

Psychology undergraduate John Strongman works at the NCS during holiday periods, delivering a programme for vulnerable young people, aged 15 to 17.

The Leeds Trinity University student uses the skills and knowledge he has acquired from his degree course and has been hailed as a huge success.

Bradley Elliot, Programme Leader at NCS, said: “John has been fantastic during his time at the NCS and has played a key role in the life-changing experience that many of the participants have had on the programme.

“He’s been a really supportive and encouraging figure for so many participants and staff on the programme.”

John started his position as senior mentor last summer, and was in charge of delivering a six-week programme to 12 teenagers. The aim is to build skills for work and foster independent living skills through activities and charity work.

John said: “To see the change that the programme made to their lives in such a short space of time was incredible. I did have some experiences that were challenging, or perhaps a little scary but I never once thought of walking away from the job. To me it was important to acknowledge that these young people came from all walks of life and would have had very different upbringings and perspectives on life before they came to the NCS.”

Last year John’s efforts were recognised by a Community Impact Award at the Leeds Specialist Institution Awards.