A young North Tyneside man is urging his peers to step outside their comfort zone to help develop their social skills.
Rob Austin, 20, a former student at St Mary’s Catholic School in Longbenton, has been helping with a new report released by Kings College London (KCL), commissioned by the UK’s flagship youth programme, National Citizen Service (NCS).
The study shows teenagers today are experiencing higher levels of loneliness than those aged 55+ and are particularly lacking skills enabling them to interact with people from different backgrounds.
Rob was contacted by NCS on behalf of KCL due to his own dramatic transformation in social skills from the time he spent on the programme, to see how his experience could influence others.
Rob said: “The confidence to be myself around other people outside of my school group was something I really struggled with.
“Ever since going on NCS it all changed, and everyone has been able to see the difference.”
Rob, a University of Sunderland student, works part-time with the NCS team, speaking to other young people about the life-changing rite of passage.