Young people get chance to celebrate at NCS graduation

This week, over 100 young people came together to celebrate at Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s NCS Graduation event at the Emerald Headingley Stadium, marking the end of a fantastic summer of fun, adventure and social action work.

Over the past couple of months, three waves of 15-16-year-olds embarked on a two-week NCS programme with Leeds Rhinos Foundation, which included a week taking on outdoor activities and attending classes to build key life skills, followed by a week of raising money and awareness for worthy charities around the local area through their own bespoke social action projects.

With independence and teamwork just two of the traits they are now equipped with, our participants have made friends for life and gained the tools to become confident, independent young adults who can achieve their goals and break down any barriers before them.

There was plenty of laughter, cheers and applause on a night to remember as the groups looked back on all they had achieved on the NCS programme, with Team Leaders sharing memorable moments with the audience and enjoying the music laid down by the Foundation’s resident DJ, Elliot McCabe.

Certificates signed by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson were handed out to each participant, congratulating them on their efforts and providing a lasting reminder of their successful graduation from NCS.

With other guest speakers from some of the groups’ chosen charities expressing their thanks for all of their hard work, the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Bob Bowman- who opened proceedings in the Emerald Suite on the night- was delighted with the young people’s commitment to the programme.

“We are so proud of all the young people we have had with us on our NCS programme this summer, and from everything I have seen and heard from their time with us at Leeds Rhinos Foundation they have represented their schools, the city and the Rhinos with great distinction.

“For some of the young people it will have been a totally new experience and taken them outside of the comfort zones, but life is all about taking risks and the relationships they have forged, and the skills they have learnt will set them in good stead in later life.

“It’s been an extremely difficult 18 months for these young people and they’ve missed out on a lot due to COVID, especially gatherings and celebrations like this in what would have been a huge year for them at their end of their high school journeys. I’m so glad they have been given the opportunity to celebrate together tonight and to see them all here looking so smart and having fun together is brilliant.”

“I would also like to say a big thank you and well done to all the amazing Team Leaders that have worked with us alongside our own dedicated NCS staff, because without their support our programme would look very different and their efforts this summer have certainly not gone un-noticed.”

Leeds Rhinos Foundation will be delivering more NCS programmes in the coming months, with another two-week option scheduled to take place during the October half-term holidays.

For more information about our NCS programme, please contact