Young people contribute widely to local community through Stevenage based NCS
04 August 2015
Youth Connexions has supported young people from Stevenage and East Herts to learn new skills while giving something back to their communities during the summer holidays.
40 young people attended the National Citizen Service summer project delivered by Youth Connexions’ Stevenage team; 21 were from Stevenage and 19 were from East Herts. The young people attend the following schools: Bishops Stortford High School, St Mary’s Catholic School, The Leventhorpe School, Nobel, The Valley, Mariotts, Barnwell.
High ropes and crate stacking were just two of the activities that built confidence and team work
The four-week National Citizen Service (NCS) programme sees the young people choose a worthwhile community cause, plan and budget for the project, raise funds and carry out the work. As well as learning how to successfully manage a community project, the young people also took part in team building exercises such as archery, mountain biking, bush craft and crate stacking, which developed their communication, trust, listening and leadership skills. They also gained qualifications and skills in first-aid and British Sign Language (BSL).
Having completed two weeks of skills and team building, the 40 young people split into three groups for their social action projects. Group one decided to work with the elderly and spent a week in two care homes: Martins House and Jubilee Court. They provided activities for the residents and also used their BSL skills to teach the residents the alphabet. At the end of the week they had a tea party at Martin’s House and baked cakes, scones and shortbread for the residents.
The second group organised a sponsored fun run, bag packing in a supermarket and a cake sale to raise money for Grove Cottage, Bishops Stortford, which provides social and educational activities for people of all ages with a learning disability. They raised £268.00 which will be donated to Grove Cottage to support its work.
Group three decided to support the Stevenage and Hertfordshire Women’s Centre, which provides a range of support services for the women of Hertfordshire. The team are holding a BBQ day and gig night on the 29th August at the Bowes Lyon Centre in Stevenage to raise money for the Hertfordshire Women’s Centre.
Participant Will, 16, said "The people I have met are more than friends, they’re my NCS family.”
Fellow team member Jacqueline, also 16, added “I’m not afraid to be myself anymore.”
Parents have also valued the programme, with parent Andrea, from Harlow saying “Nicholas has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and has overcome a few confidence issues when it comes to physical activities such as climbing a wall. He told me that if it wasn’t for his peer group cheering him on, he would have given up half way. He is enjoying the community project and has made lots of nice new friends. Thank you again for all of your hard work. I will definitely recommend the course to others”.