Basis of National Citizen Service is questioned by one of its pilot providers

It should probably not get priority over other youth volunteering schemes, says Terry Ryall, chief executive of v

Volunteering charity v
Volunteering charity v

The government’s flagship National Citizen Service should "probably not" be given priority over other youth volunteering schemes, according to Terry Ryall, chief executive of the volunteering charity v.

Giving evidence at the House of Commons to MPs on the Education Select Committee yesterday, Ryall was asked whether, given scarce public funding, the government should give greater priority to the NCS.

"At the expense of other things, it should probably not be," she said. "You can’t fund everything."

Ryall’s organisation is the third-largest supplier of volunteering placements under the National Citizen Service pilot scheme this summer. The pilot will give 11,000 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to take up volunteering placements. 

She said that, instead of setting up the scheme, the government should have tried to bring together existing volunteering activities under a national project.

"With some kind of national programme banner, everyone could feel included in national youth volunteering policy," she said.

She said the government should have chosen to continue funding the charity’s vschools programme, a schools volunteering scheme that was axed last summer, rather than fund the NCS. "Vschools would have been a great feeder for post-16 volunteering," she said.

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