One-handed pianist visited local teens on a National Citizen Service programme in Sevenoaks

PUBLISHED: 10:22 04 November 2016 | UPDATED: 10:22 04 November 2016

Nicholas McCarthy visited a group of teenagers doing their NCS programme

Nicholas McCarthy visited a group of teenagers doing their NCS programme


The young people present had been selected among thousands to participate in NCS Leaders Week, a leadership scheme for graduates who showed enthusiasm during their summer programmes

Last week (October 24), concert pianist Nicholas McCarthy visited a group of specially chosen teens at a National Citizen Service (NCS) leadership programme at Sevenoaks School.

The young people present had been selected from among thousands of others to participate in NCS Leaders Week, a leadership scheme for graduates who showed particular determination and enthusiasm during their summer programmes. Mr McCarthy met with them at the start of their leadership programme, and discussed his inspirational story.

He is the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the Royal College of Music. He spoke passionately to the teens about his determination and dedication to achieve his goals as a musician. Born with only one hand and a pioneer of the left hand alone repertoire, Mr McCarthy spoke to the teens about his journey and answered all their questions, but not before impressing them with a performance.

He commented: “It was a real pleasure visiting the programme and speaking to some of the ambitious young people of today. These teens have been selected for their hard work and perseverance, and it shows! It took a lot for me to get where I am today and I have loved the opportunity to explain to these teenagers that, with determination, they can do anything they want.

“It was also great to see the impact that NCS has on teenagers themselves – it’s clear that it helps them to grow in confidence, to develop new skills and make loads of new friends, and also how a the social action projects they told me about can really make a difference in the community. I wish that I had done NCS as a teenager.”

Leaders Week is a programme which aims to help stand-out NCS graduates further develop their skill-set, build a national network of like-minded young people and help them to lead others to deliver positive change in their community. Leaders are selected in recognition of not only their ability and enthusiasm, but also their development during the programme and their ability to overcome personal challenges or support other people to do the same. The programme included various workshops focusing on personal and social development including presenting, leadership skills and problem solving skills. Sessions were delivered by top business and community partners including Twitter, Radio 1 and community organisers.

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