‘Our NCS Summer’
Almost 200 hundred young people enjoyed the journey of a lifetime this Summer, taking part in Newcastle United Foundation’s National Citizen Service.
The NCS programme aims to equip young people with skills and experiences to help them bridge the gap between school and the world of work. A series of challenges and workshops take participants out of their comfort zones to build up their communication, team building, and leadership skills.
To kick off their adventure our young people headed out to residential camps in the Lake District, North Yorkshire, and the Scottish Borders; where they took part in a variety of activities designed to get them working together, including gorge walking, canoeing, raft building, caving, and orienteering.
With a week of experiences behind them and new friendships formed, our participants took on their next challenge – the home residential.
Living in a University of Newcastle Halls of Residence, they cooked, cleaned, and lived together whilst taking part in a number of workshops, from First Aid, to mental health awareness, to town planning, with all sessions designed to engage our young people in their communities and the issues that are common within them.
In Week 3 it was time for the group to tackle their social action projects. Splitting into teams they had to plan and deliver their own project that would positively impact a community of their choice.
One team decided to help tidy the Veterans Garden at Avondale House in Byker, assisting with the gardeining, clean up and putting on a coffee morning, sourcing all drinks and cakes for free, to spend time one on one with the veterans who used the garden.
Simon Lock, Manager at Avondale House commented, “All of them did an extremely good job.
“They should be very proud of themselves and have proved to be a great bunch of young people. Their work ethic has been fantastic and they have managed to get donations in to help do up the garden at the same time.”
A number of charities and community groups benefitted from social action projects organsied by our NCS participants including,Teenage Cancer Trust, Hillcare, St. Chad’s Community Centre, Kids Kabin, Dementia Care, and perhaps most notably, West End Food Bank.
The group raised money and collected donations for the Food Bank and were asked onto BBC Radio, even making an appearance on Look North whilst completing their project.
Kieran, an NCS participant, said: “I think overall doing NCS has helped with my social skills, it’s really helped me come out of my comfort zone.
“The Foundation has made sure each step of the way we’re supported properly to do this.”
Jack Lennie, NCS Coordinator at Newcastle United Foundation, added: “During our programme, from day one to our final celebration events, I have seen such a change in these young people, every single person has grown in confidence, so many have become wonderful leaders – seeing them all grow has been fantastic.
“I was really proud of the impact the groups had in the community as part of their social action projects – they made such an effort to help others.
“I want to say thank you to all our participants for all their hard work and their commitment. The progress they’ve made over the last few weeks has been incredible.”
Want to find out how you can get involved in our next NCS adventure? Find out more about the initiative right here!
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