As this year’s NCS programme draws to a close, the students have learnt many new life skills through helping the community and local charities, they experienced living away from home for the first time, made some great new friendships, and partook in activities that many of them would never get the chance to do, especially aged 16 – 17. Our NCS student from Brighton Hill Community School in Basingstoke has documented her final week as an NCS student.
The group prepared cakes, cookies and other tasty treats over the weekend ready to sell on Monday at Andover Leisure Centre to raise money for their chosen charity. They also started to paint the furniture that they were up-cycling for Ugly Ducklings which she enjoyed the most – until it started raining which meant that the pieces of furniture had to be painted twice. The part of Monday that she felt was the most challenging was deciding what to do with each piece of furniture to make them all unique and different as they only had a limited number of supplies and materials. At the end of the day they completed workbooks with their leaders.
Like Monday, half of the group had the day off and the other half of the group continued to paint the furniture in the Ugly Duckling workshop. Our NCS student learnt valuable DIY skills at the workshop like using sandpaper correctly and learning how to apply chalk paint. Although she enjoyed her day and found what she had made rewarding, she found deciding on what colours to paint everything challenging as the paints that they had were tough to work with (some being thick and some being too thin).
Due to the 30 hours per week that each member of the group have to partake in, our NCS diary student took the day off while the half of the team that had Tuesday off spent the day at the Ugly Duckling workshop.
On Thursday the group went to Alresford market in the morning to sell their up-cycled furniture. She found it very rewarding getting there in the morning and seeing their weeks of work finished and on display. The bad weather meant that the paint ran on some of the pieces and made it difficult to catch the interest of the passers by. They found trying to get people interested in the furniture challenging as many of the people who were at the market were elderly and were only there to get certain items.
All of their tasks for NCS were over by Friday and all they had to do was finish their workbooks and say goodbye. Our NCS student found completing the booklets quite boring and found that saying goodbye to her group was the hardest part of the day as NCS was over.
The group who were raising money for the charity Mind through Ugly Duckling raised approximately £240 by the end of their time on the NCS programme.