The National Citizen Service (NCS) gives 16 – 17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland the opportunity to grow in confidence, help charities and the community, have the experience of living away from home, learn skills that they would not usually learn at school which are beneficial for the future, and (most importantly) NCS give young people the opportunity to make new friends and have fun! Over 70,000 young people have taken part in NCS and this summer see’s a new group of students taking on a whole range of activities and challenges that benefit both themselves and the community.
1. Ready Steady Cook Challenge
This Ready, Steady, Cook style challenged let the group learn valuable cooking skills for their futures. The group split into teams and given a set of ingredients each which they then had to make meals out of. The meals were then judged by their nutritional values and their appearance. Every team appeared to be making great food, with meals including tomato pasta and vegetable couscous with pita breads.
2. Food Bank
One team got stuck into helping a local food bank charity. Grateful for the extra hands, the charity taught the NCS group some lessons on the importance of helping others who may not be as lucky as them.
3. Fair play Football Tournament at Harrow Way School, Andover
Acting as stewards, footballers, and even cheerleaders, the NCS students gave Harrow Way School’s children a helping hand in their Fair play Football Tournament on Thursday afternoon. With skills that rivalled that of a World Cup qualifying team, it was clear that the children of Harrow Way School really benefitted from the presence of the NCS student.
“To begin with, my group from Falmouth, when we met them all they were shy and half of them didn’t know each other. The confidence that I have seen build from these students and become more independent as they’ve gone on with their shopping, and the cooking today is just mind blowing. I think it’s brilliant!”
(Rebecca Farndell-Thorne – NCS Mentor)
4. Ugly Duckling
One group of NCS students went to the Ugly Duckling woodwork shop to create a variety of products out of recycled wood and furniture. Ugly Duckling is a, not for profit, furniture recycling and renovation project run by Andover Mind for the local community. After creating products such as hedgehog houses, doggy treat boxes, and outdoor wooden owls, the group set up a market stall in Andover town centre to sell their creations and make money for Andover Mind. NCS students have raised £350 so far!
5. Clifford House Drama Group Performance
One group of NCS students brushed up on their acting skills and put together a play and a dance for the residents of Clifford House Care Home. The play and music for the dance were both WW2 themed and really entertained the audience. After the performance, the students spoke to the residents, which gave them the a satisfied feeling of once again helping the community.
“Helping local charities lets you give back to the community”
(Nick Tate – NCS student)
6. Gardening with Mencap
Liz Hall, a resident of Andover, has offered her garden for members of Mencap to help and maintain her garden via the Andover Gardenshare project run by Transition Town Andover. Over the summer, NCS students have also been helping out alongside Mencap creating greenhouses, doing arts and crafts, and gardening. Libby, Saskia, and Lucy made their own bottle green house with some members of Mencap. They discussed the sense of achievement that they felt creating something physical that they can be proud of and in helping a charity.
For more information on how you can get involved in NCS, visit their website: www.ncsyes.co.uk
For more information about Mencap, visit their website: www.mencap.org.uk
For more information about the Ugly Duckling charity, visit their website: www.ugly-duckling.info