West Yorkshire MCard's FREE travel pledge helps young people enjoy action packed summer

02 August 2021

Free travel to open up summer National Citizen Service (NCS) programmes to hundreds of teenagers across the region


Hundreds of teenagers aged 16-17 across West Yorkshire are being offered free bus travel to help them benefit from an action-packed range of summer team-building fun.

MCard, the easy to use, go-anywhere ticket for all of West Yorkshire’s buses, is supporting local young people with two weeks of free travel to access the NCS programme in partnership with the English Football League (EFL) Trust and local NCS Delivery Partners including Leeds United Community Programme, Bradford City Community Trust, Huddersfield Town Foundation, The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, Huddersfield Giants Community Trust and Leeds Rhinos Foundation.

Around 1,600 teenagers are taking part in NCS in West Yorkshire this summer, learning new skills, meeting new friends and building their resilience following 18 months of pandemic restrictions.

The MCard free travel boost follows the launch this month by Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin of new cheaper tickets and simpler fares for young people. The Mayor met teenagers taking part in NCS at Bradley Wood Scout Camp near Brighouse to help spread the message that places on upcoming courses are still available – with free bus travel to open up access to young people of all backgrounds throughout the region.

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, said: “Free travel using MCard is a game changing offer which will help many more of our young people to benefit from these amazing courses. It’s vitally important for health and wellbeing, plus education, that teenagers can be outdoors and learning together.

“Many school leavers have up to 16 weeks away from full time learning between finishing their exams and taking up a place in further or higher education. This presents a great opportunity to have fun and learn new skills – and the NCS programme is an ideal way to spend a couple of weeks making new friends in a safe and supportive way.”

One of the young people on NCS at Bradley Wood NCS course, Libby Hills, 16, said: “NCS has been such a great experience. It’s brilliant to try something new and to meet different people. It’s been really good to give back to our local community with our social action project. Without the free bus travel, I might never have been able to do any of it.”

This is the tenth year that the EFL Trust has partnered with the NCS to deliver life-changing experiences for teenagers across the country. In that time, over 65,000 young people have taken part.

EFL Trust CEO Mike Evans said: “Together with our network we are giving young people a platform to reach their potential, to have their voices heard and to make a positive impact in their community. Thousands of young people on our NCS programmes are overcoming their own fears and increasing their confidence, and many are volunteering in their local community for the first time.

“Thanks to our partnership with the West Yorkshire MCard, our NCS programmes can be more inclusive for young people, removing the barrier of travel cost, which is so important to us. The free travel will also give young people a taste of independence and support them with the delivery of their social action project.”       

Free travel is being delivered via the easy-to-use MCard mobile app – teenagers can download it for free, then use the same email address used to register for NCS to set up an account. The EFL Trust then gifts them two free weekly bus tickets, which they can activate and use from day one on NCS.

Places are still available on several NCS programmes across West Yorkshire – for information and bookings, visit: https://wearencs.com.

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