Boro star Jonny Howson paid tribute to the staff and students of MFC Foundation’s NCS programme during their graduation ceremony at Cineworld in Middlesbrough.
“You have all achieved something which is very special,” said the midfielder.
“This is a very special area with special people and I must pay tribute to the staff who I understand have not been able to take any holidays during school term time as they were running this programme.”
Speaking after watching three videos and a presentation from NCS Lead Officer Kelly Daley, Howson added: “It can be very difficult leaving school and moving onto the next phase in your life. But from what I’ve seen, they have all embraced the challenge and taken what is a great opportunity.”
Two waves of students undertook a four-week course, during which time they spent two weeks away from home, some for the first time, one of which was at one of two outdoor activity centres at Coniston in the Lake District and The Sill in Northumberland.
Meaningful work within the Teesside community was an integral part of the course, as well as fun on the River Tees and experiencing wheelchair basketball.
On the night, Howson spoke from the front of the auditorium to an enthralled audience, then handed out certificates to individuals and the Nautical Service based next to the Transporter.
All in all, quite an experience for everyone involved.
If you are interested in the next NCS phase, or know someone who might be, then e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or ring 01642 757674