CAROLINE ANSELL MP: The truth is I love my work

In the wake of a Cabinet reshuffle, Parliament has been on recess this week and my teenage boys are on half term.

One is recovering from his first week at one of Eastbourne’s best kept secrets – our Ofsted ‘outstanding’ Military Preparation College based in Seaside where pounding runs along the beach have been suitably challenging; another is revising – so he tells me! - for his A levels.

He’s majoring in computer science, I’m thinking cyber security, he’s thinking gaming.

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The theory goes that I was to take my first few days off since December 15 this week but being on staycation, I haven’t been able to resist getting involved.

The truth is I love my work.

I’m hoping that fantastic Defiant Sports will now have power and running water at their new base at Sovereign Retail Park.

I was delighted to be able to progress a very exciting environmental project at The Haven school and equally, to attend the opening of new business, Experience It Now Travel, at Langney Shopping Centre.

And then there was Full Council at The Town Hall.

School holidays can be challenging times for working parents and as we look toward the summer one thing I would like to highlight is the National Citizenship service or NCS.

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The NCS is a four-week programme of adventure training, a residential course and then social action in the community helping others.

It was set up around ten years ago as part of then Prime Minister David Cameron’s Big Society initiative – something that I really supported and around 600,000 young people have completed NCS since then.

Despite these numbers, many people still don’t know about it, which is a shame because it has great outcomes and, crucially, allows young people aged 16 and 17 to mix with others perhaps they wouldn’t have ever met – an important way to learn about the world.

I was very impressed when I joined one such group in Upperton when I was last MP.

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They had scoped, budgeted and together delivered a sensory garden at one of our local nursing homes.

To have a scheme like this open to all young people at a hugely subsidised cost is a great resource for parents and, most importantly, for our young people.

Anyone interested in going on the NCS programme this summer should visit their website at:

Summer is a happy thought, after a week of wind and rain.