NCS teens and Music Man CEO David Stanley pay tribute to the late Sir David Amess
22 November 2021
A group of learning-disabled students in Southend-on-Sea have been spending their autumn doing their bit to create positive change with NCS (National Citizen Service), the country’s flagship youth programme.
The young NCS Changemakers had only started planning their social action project shortly before the tragic death of Sir David Amess. They decided to do something positive in memory of the former Southend MP, launching a fundraiser event with The Music Man Project, a charity that he was president of.
Alongside David Stanley, founder and CEO of The Music Man Project, a small group of young musicians took part in a series of musical renditions at the fundraiser. Also performing was a security guard from South Essex College who gave a surprise keyboard performance of ‘Lean on Me’.
The teens read out speeches they had written themselves. They also set up a stall, selling cakes to raise just under £115 for The Music Man Project.
Charley Ellard, aged 17, said: “I’m so proud to be part of something so positive. Sir David Amess was a member of parliament who was loved by all. He was the Southend West MP for 24 years. He loved to support charities in Southend and was always a happy soul in the community. May he rest in peace. We send love to his family and friends.”
Mark Bennett, aged 22, who took part in the programme, said: “David Amess was our MP. We all feel sorry for his family. We will not forget him. What we all need to do is protect the community and support our country and pay our respects to Sir David Amess.
“He sent me Christmas cards every year. He cared about people with disabilities and we now want to support and raise awareness for some of the charities and causes he also supported.”
Sir David Amess was a longstanding supporter of The Music Man Project, which was founded in Southend by David Stanley.
Mr Stanley, the Government’s Disability and Access Ambassador for Arts and Culture, said: “Thank you so much for doing this, for raising money for The Music Man Project, and doing it for Sir David. Sir David Amess was a dear friend of mine and he was a supporter of this charity for over 20 years. He had amazing faith in an accessible music service that could give opportunities for anyone, regardless of ability.
“Sir David’s next dream for us was to go to Broadway and perform in New York, which we still hope to do in his memory. I know he would be so proud of everyone today. We are performing at his funeral next week and I will tell everyone about the great work happening in Southend, which will allow us to continue to provide opportunities for people with special needs across the country and overseas.”
Jason Wildsmith, NCS Regional Manager, said: “It was a privilege to attend the NCS Changemaker fundraiser at South Essex College. I met a group of inspirational students who had all been influenced by the late Sir David Amess and, saddened by the tragic event, they decided to pay tribute to the work he did and a charity close to his heart - The Music Man Project.
“It was very emotional to hear the students step outside of their comfort zone and publically read out their tributes. It was also moving to hear from David Stanley, who was a close friend of Sir David Amess. Well done to all the students involved, who have themselves demonstrated the impact that NCS is having on young people in Southend.”
Over 600,000 young people have benefited from the NCS programme to date, giving over 15 million hours to social action projects in local communities across the country.
The fundraiser was part of the Reed in Partnership NCS programme at South Essex College. There are still places available for 16-17 years to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. To sign up, go to wearencs.com.
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About NCS (National Citizen Service)
NCS is an experience like no other. Designed for 16-17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland, NCS is a youth programme that runs every summer and autumn, during school holidays. Teens get the opportunity to mix with a new crowd, live away from home for a while, take on new challenges and in the process build lifelong friendships.
The programme is all about emboldening young people – by giving them a taste of independence and equipping them with essential skills for life. NCSers then get a chance to take these new-found skills for a test-run in their local community.
NCS is dedicated to providing a platform to make sure young people are heard and can engage with their community by completing passion projects, raising awareness and providing solutions to the issues they care about.
The experience might last just a few weeks, but the impact? That lasts a lot longer. Since 2009 nearly 600,000 young people have taken part in NCS, completing over 14.5 million hours of community action, and gaining priceless life experiences.
NCS costs no more than £50 - with bursaries and support for those with special educational needs or disabilities also available. NCS’s mission is to give every young person the life-changing experience.
NCS delivers value for money. £3.49 of benefits to society for every £1 spent. During lockdown NCS has had over 1.7 million unique engagements with teens through its ‘Staying Connected’ hub.
About NCS Trust
National Citizen Service Trust is an Arm's Length Body of DCMS incorporated by Royal
Charter and established to shape, support, champion and lead a thriving National
National Citizen Service Trust is registered in England and Wales with Royal Charter
Body number RC000894.
To learn more about NCS Trust visit LinkedIn