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Dover young citizens fire up local ‘dragons’

Young people taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme faced some local ‘dragons’ earlier this month, to put their social action ideas to the test

The Port of Dover and its contractor for its flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development, VSBW – a joint venture between VolkerStevin Boskalis Westminster – teamed up to form panel of ‘dragons’ which consisted of: Jenny Beacon – Corporate Social Responsibility Officer at the Port of Dover, Paula Cruttenden – Project Manager at VSBW and Ron Eckersley – Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at VSBW.

Other members of the panels included representatives from Demelza, ADM Computing, Wyndeham Group and Dover District Council (DDC).

NCS is a four week programme that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life.

Up to 30 young people prepared a ten minute presentation to introduce their ideas, outline how their project would work and explain what additional assistance they were seeking. The young people were then quizzed by the dragons, which offered the youngsters further ideas and provided valuable feedback to help shape their project.

The setting for the imposing Dragon’s Den event was at Dover Christ Church Academy as Jenny Beacon, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer, said: “It was obvious a lot of hard work had gone into each presentation and the young people came across really well pitching their ideas. We wish them well as they put their projects into action’.”

VSBW continue to add value to the Port’s engagement with young people and into community initiatives as part of its wider corporate social responsibility agenda. Ron Eckersley, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, said: “The young people we met were full of energy, enthusiasm and great ideas, which will see them, go on to do great things.”

The young people will now use the feedback they received and to hone their social action project ideas. Each team’s project is due to be completed in the next few weeks. 

Gillian Flegg, responsible for delivering the NCS programme at CXK said: “We are so delighted to see the positive engagement NCS is having within the local community. It’s so important to help young people develop these invaluable skills and ideas and receive encouraging and supportive feedback, from local professionals. NCS is so fortunate to work with such great organisations and individuals that are passionate about the development of young people.


Notes to editors

  1. Port of Dover

The Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is a one-off opportunity for the regeneration of Dover, bringing new investment into the area.  With UK Government planning approval and supported by a mix of private finance and European Union grant funding, DWDR will deliver:

  • Relocation and further development of the cargo business with a new cargo terminal and distribution centre;
  • Creation of greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic;
  • A transformed waterfront to ultimately attract a host of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants with Dover’s unique backdrop of the harbour, cliffs and castle; and
  • Much needed quality employment opportunities for local people.

DWDR scored ‘Excellent’ for the CEEQUAL Whole Team Interim Award – the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme that promotes the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects. 

  1. VSBW

VSBW is a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster to deliver the marine structures and bridge contract for the Port of Dover’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development.

With a contract value of £115m, this construction stage will include the design and build of two new berths including quay walls and land reclamation, a new marina pier, the marina curve, navigation channel and new lock gates, Bascule Bridge and capital dredging work. 

  1. NCS

NCS is a four week programme that provides young people aged 15-17 the chance to take on new challenges, experience exciting activities, make long-lasting friendships and develop vital skills that will support them later in life. A flagship government initiative, it was launched to tackle three core issues of importance to society: social cohesion, social mobility and social engagement. Established in 2011, more than 400,000 young people across the country have already taken part.

  1. CXK

CXK is a charity that delivers a range of services to empower young people and adults across the south-east to build the skills and confidence they need to move into sustainable education, employment or training.