Young people demonstrate their community spirit during their summer holidays with YC Hertfordshire
30 August 2019
580 young people from across the St Albans, Hertsmere and Dacorum took part in National Citizen Service (NCS) programmes with YC Hertfordshire this summer.
The full time four-week programmes began with a week-long residential trip to Kibblestone International Scout Centre in Staffordshire, where the young people camped in tents. Here the 16 and 17 year olds took part in challenging adventurous activities, all designed to develop interpersonal and communication skills and create positive peer relationships. Activities included a 10km expedition, raft building, paddle boarding, high ropes, bush craft, and a full range of evening activities that further developed their team work skills.
The Hertsmere NCS group at Kibblestone International Scout Centre
- Mo from St Albans said: ‘My experience of NCS has been extremely fun and enriching. It has opened me up to multiple opportunities to challenge myself and overcome my fears.”
- Chelsea from Tring said “I didn’t think I would enjoy the outdoor activities, but I loved it!”
The second week was a residential stay at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield where the young people could experience life on a university campus and increase their independence. The programme of skills-based training included workshops with prospective employers, careers advice and CV writing. The young people also took part in workshops on first aid, deaf awareness, healthy relationships, sexual health, and mental health and wellbeing.
The Dacorum NCS group
County Councillor Teresa Heritage, Deputy Leader of Hertfordshire County Council and Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:
“Taking part in NCS with YC Hertfordshire enables young people to develop many skills that help them make a successful transition to life beyond school or college and into adulthood. It builds their self-confidence and independence and many other qualities valued by employers. The young people worked hard on their social action projects and supported a wide range of local charities and community organisations.”
Weeks three and four saw the young people plan and carry out social action projects which benefitted their local communities. These included:
- raising £1072 for Hectors House, a local teen suicide prevention charity
- raising £700 to buy resources for the Herts Young Homeless charity
- raising £489 for a local foodbank and making up emergency packages
- organising activity workshops for people with dementia and their carers, including a memory timeline, seated hip-hop and glass painting
- painting and planting flower beds in the garden at Willow Court Care Home in Harpenden and St Matthews Care Home in Redbourne
- creating an eco-garden with ‘bug hotels’ for a local primary school
- creating an online healthy eating recipe book for families
- organising a 1940s-style tea party and games afternoon and a biscuit-decorating morning with the residents of St Pauls Care Home in Hemel Hempstead
- making emotional wellbeing packages for The OLLIE Foundation to give to young people who are struggling with emotional wellbeing and mental health
The Tring NCS group painting a mural
The young people who took part in the programme also gained a lot from the experience:
- Kieran from Tring said: “I have achieved things I didn't comprehend I could do.”
- Elisa from St Albans said: “Amazing experience! Met loads of new people and increased my confidence.”
- Esther from St Albans said: “Being able to start a social action project, help and change something in my community was very enjoyable and rewarding.”
For more information about NCS with YC Hertfordshire please visit our NCS pages.
Follow our NCS Twitter account.