This summer, a group of inspiring young people took part in the National Citizenship service (NCS) to have fun, whilst meeting new people and making a positive change in their local community.
NCS, is a youth programme, largely funded by the UK Government and was designed specifically for 16 and 17 year olds, who would like to take on a new challenge, whilst overcoming personal hurdles and developing lifelong skills. NCS is also a wonderful way to raise money and awareness for local charities across the country and encouraging social and emotional growth in our young adults.
Everyone had a wonderful time, building their confidence and learning a lot about themselves, as is evidenced in the piece below written by one of the students that took part.
They wanted to share their experience, in the hope that it would encourage many other young people to sign up next year.
‘When I started NCS I was very nervous as social situations are pretty difficult for me. For the first time in over a year, I was going to be interacting with new people, who were my age which added to my anxiety. The first day started by meeting my group, who were all from completely different backgrounds, not knowing who each other were.
There were a lot of ice breakers to allow us to meet each other as well as get an overview for what the course would actually look like. I engaged with this, having fun and interacting with the others in a positive manner. Even though it was only the first day, it already felt like a family and as the day went on everyone started to come out of their shells.
After a few hours of games and ice breakers we did some team building exercises and we were split into two groups and were tasked with two activities. Never really working in much of a team before, this was a pretty surreal experience but with ample support from others and some understanding, I started to engage well.
From Tuesday to Friday there were a number of talks by various charities such as Strickland Gate House, Cumbria Deaf Association, NHS workers and Careers Advisors. This was very interesting to hear about how charities help those who are vulnerable as well as how much funding is actually needed to allow these charities to help those people. On the Friday afternoon we were given our task for our social action project. This project would help the community as well as raising awareness for our chosen charity.
As a group we chose the Cumbria Deaf Association and we worked very closely with a number of people from the Charity to produce our project. As a group, we had to pitch our ideas to a panel before putting them into action over the course of the second week. We completed an interview with one of the workers, which we were able to use, to spread awareness for not just our local community but nationwide. We also held a bake sale, raising money to buy some of the equipment, including custom products, needed to help a deaf person.
We all worked hard to meet the deadline and with communication and a lot of teamwork between us we were able to present the Deaf Association with the £333 we raised.
I have learned a lot during NCS and gained many skills, most importantly being confident in myself and working in a team. I really enjoyed my time and would highly recommend it to others.’
We would like to say a huge thank you for allowing us to share this piece and extend our congratulations to all of the students involved in NCS this year!
What a brilliant way for young people to gain new skills, whilst working with others for great causes. If you would like to find out more about the National Citizenship Service, Click Here.