Last year, we celebrated the fantastic achievements made by our NCS mentors and young people on the programme.
Now we’re looking for mentors for 2014’s NCS programme, and would like to answer any questions you may have on getting involved.
We spoke to Luke Kelly, supervisor at Andover Leisure Centre, who took part in NCS last year as a mentor.
What did you expect it to be like, before you started?
I expected to be a guardian throughout the course, for the young people.
And to be helping them get through anything on the course.
What did your role include when you got there?
It included making sure the teenagers got up in the morning, and helping them to push their limits on everything they do.
It also involved teaching them basic things – like how to cook.
We were teaching them how to turn on an oven!
What were your highlights?
I loved the adventure side of it. It was good to be pushed out of my own comfort zone as well.
The high ropes were a good laugh!
We encouraged a lot of the teenagers to try something new, and they did.
Even getting up the ladder was an achievement for some of them, and it felt great.
What did you find difficult? Was it getting a load of teenagers out of bed in the morning?
No, that was easy – we just banged on their doors a lot!
Sometimes we had arguments within the group, which made things difficult. It’s possibly to be expected working with so many young people, though.
How was it working with them the rest of the time?
It was really great. We had a lot of different attitudes and personalities, and got on really well.
How did you work with the other mentors?
We worked really well. We helped each other out in difficult situations, and it was good having other people there for advice.
That really helped a lot.
How did you feel by the end of the programme?
It was really rewarding.
Getting the young people out and raising money for charity gave you a great feeling.
It was exhausting too!
What do you think you’ve gained personally from doing NCS?
I’ve learnt better communication skills, and leadership skills.
Working with the community was great, and so was helping young people change their attitudes – and how they see or do things.
How do you think you’ve used the experience you gained, in your supervisor role?
I’ve really used the communication and team leadership aspects in my role, and I feel it helps me to do well in my job.
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking of applying to be an NCS mentor?
You need to be open-minded, because you’re not working with standard people in a standard situation!
There’ll be different groups, and a variety of characters.
You will get pushed quite a bit, but it’s all worth it.
And you have to be able to deal with early starts and late nights! It’s just good fun.
If you’re interested in applying to be an NCS mentor, check out our vacancies page to read more about the role – and information on how to apply.