What a difference a diary makes!
05 November 2015
Young people from Watford and Three Rivers who took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme at half term found inspiration in writing their reflective diaries
16 young people from Watford and Three Rivers, who took part in the October NCS residential programme, were empowered in their personal development thanks to their participation on the course.
Preparing to zipline during the residential stay in Norfolk
The young people spent four days at Kingswood West Runton Centre in North Norfolk as part of a larger group of young people from across all districts in Hertfordshire. At the centre the young people were challenged to test themselves in a variety of situations – including abseiling, rock climbing, fencing, and on the zip-line. Every activity was designed to encourage those taking part to work as a team – as well as to take them out of their comfort zone. Supported by the youth workers, the young people were then asked to complete three ‘post-it’ notes of points that they had enjoyed about the session, and one ‘post-it’ note about something they could do better.
At the end of every day, each young person spent at least an hour completing a diary, incorporating the notes that they had made, and reflecting upon their behaviour. Supported by the youth workers, and using a variety of techniques such as mindfulness and meditation, these diaries were then used as the foundation for each individual to understand how best to realise their own potential.
Writing reflective diaries really helped the young people to realise their own potential
During the week every individual earned points for their team, for every activity undertaken. To the delight of the Watford & Three Rivers team, their hard work paid off – as they were crowned winners of all the districts!
The young people had a wonderful experience during the NCS residential course – and all came out with a greater sense of confidence and self-belief. “I learnt that we can always get better at things even if we find it hard at first”, commented Cynthia (age 17), while Shivani (age 17) added, “I learnt that I can keep trying and not give up”. The course was summed up by another young person in her diary, who wrote, “You don’t have to be successful in everything, but trying to succeed is not impossible for anyone”.
The teams from across the county have since been planning a social action project as the second stage of their course.