At Saturday's EFL League One clash between the Blades and Scunthorpe United, local graduates from the National Citizen Service (NCS) will enjoy VIP treatment as they join the players on the pitch to launch NCS Match Day, a special event organised by the Sheffield United Community Foundation.
A handful of lucky Sheffield United fans who are NCS graduates will be going to the game as special guests of the Club to mingle with the likes of NCS Ambassador George Long, Billy Sharp and Ethan Ebanks-Landell.
The event, supported by Sheffield United Football Club and Sheffield United Community Foundation, will launch the national two week NCS Match Day activity, highlighting the positive work that young people have done in their local community. NCS Match Day is the brainchild of the EFL Trust, and delivered by English league clubs right across the country.
NCS is a nationwide experience for year 11s and 12s. It is a chance for teens to shake things up and develop new skills for whatever post-GCSE life has to throw at them. It changes how teens see the world and has a huge impact on communities across the UK with over 1.9 million hours of social action taking place across the country - the equivalent to building 74 Olympic Stadiums and 1 The Great Wall of China.
Football fan and NCS grad Charles, 18 from Sheffield, said: "Completing NCS with Sheffield United was the highlight of my summer last year! I cannot speak highly enough of the programme."
By being part of NCS, Charles had the opportunity to complete a week long residential where he abseiled, canoed and rock climbed. His second week, which is also a residential week but back in Sheffield saw Charles complete a number of qualifications. In week three, Charles and his team volunteered in his local community helping the homeless, all of which was supported by Sheffield United Community Foundation Coaches. Other football fans who want to get involved can register at ncsefltrust.co.uk
NCS Ambassador and United goalkeeper George Long, is a big supporter of the programme: "I think NCS is a fantastic programme and I am delighted to be the ambassador for Sheffield United Community Foundation."
"I think NCS is brilliant. It gives young people the chance to experience a variety of activities and challenges whilst building new friendships and benefitting the local community.
"Ultimately, NCS lays a solid foundation for these guys to go on confidently and achieve whatever they want in the future."
In Sheffield, the NCS programme is delivered by Sheffield United Community Foundation, with the support of teens who have already graduated from the programme, and has made its mark on people's lives and the local community. Participants enjoy a number of fun-filled team activities while away on a residential retreat, before returning to Sheffield to help local charities raise money through various different community-based events, like fundraising for Sheffield Children's hospital and helping the homeless. Over 300,000 young people have now participated in NCS.
Gary Webb, NCS Manager at Sheffield United Community Foundation believes that more young people in Sheffield can benefit from NCS: "I would encourage any young person to take part in NCS. It is a unique opportunity where you can develop life and employability skills, make new friends and have lots of fun, so feel to text/call 0780 428 2117 for more information or email NCS@SUFC-Community.co.uk for further information."