34 young people took part in ‘Keep Doing Good’, a socially distanced version of the National Citizen Service programme run by YC Hertfordshire Services for Young People.

25 August 2020

After an uncertain few months and facing the threat of total cancellation, the service launched its NCS programme called ‘Keep Doing Good’ last month.

Taking place in Hemel Hempstead, St Albans and the Welwyn Hatfield district, the two-week programme’s aim was to provide young people aged 16-17 with the chance to give back to their local communities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Daily sessions also included socially distanced team-building exercises, mental health awareness workshops, as well as sessions delivered by GamCare, a problem gambling awareness charity.

One of the teams in Hemel Hempstead chose to raise money for local charity DENS, which aims to be the first port of call for people in Dacorum who might be facing poverty, homelessness and social exclusion. The team sought to raise an ambitious £500 during their three-day social action project.

The young people said: “Our aim was to raise as much money as we could for DENS. Over three days we planned to travel the distance equivalent of Hemel to Brighton and back, a total of 173 miles! We chose to do the distance between here and Brighton as it has one of the top 10 largest homeless communities in the country. Each one of us completed 17.3 miles with a combination of walking, running and cycling – whilst wearing yellow for DENS!”

Since launching their JustGiving page, Team CAM have to date raised £565.45 - a fantastic result!

Fundraising events were also carried out in St Albans for The Ollie Foundation while in Welwyn Hatfield the group designed a Where’s Wally treasure hunt for local children and families at Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City.

The treasure hunt on one of the hottest days of the year and many children and families loved getting involved. In just over an hour the group raised £33 that they would use to purchase items to make up care packages for Herts Young Homeless. The young people went shopping to purchase as many items as they could for the care packages. They then took these home and in their own time made up the bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, hot chocolate, biscuits, soap and homemade stress balls as well as motivational and positive quotes.

The young people who took part said:

“Being part of NCS has made me feel proud since it’s good to help others”

“My experience of NCS was excellent. The best part was when we all got together and helped raise money for HYH.”

“My experience of NCS was wonderful, the thing I enjoyed the most was doing the care packages”

The Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Councillor Teresa Heritage, said:

"These young people were determined to give something back to their local communities and help raise the spirits of those who are struggling. It is to their credit that they persisted, worked well together as a team and did so much good work this summer.”

Young people who took part in the Keep Doing Good programme are still eligible to take part in the full NCS programme which will be relaunched in Autumn 2020 and Summer 2021.