Hundreds of young people from Northamptonshire teamed together to give 21,000 hours of their time back to their local communities this summer.
Over 700 teenagers from the county took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) voluntary programme, implementing nearly 80 community projects and taking on new challenges along the way.
The flagship government initiative provides 15-17 year olds with an opportunity to enhance CVs and develop life skills through a variety of activities.
Taking a break from her NCS projects to collect her GCSE results, Rio Malcolm, aged 16 said: “NCS has changed my life - it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.”
Communications manager for NCS EM1 (Northamptonshire branch), Phil Everett, said: “During the final two weeks of NCS, each group takes part in a social action project where they develop and carry out a plan that benefits their local community.
“It’s an important part of the programme because not only does it build character and boost confidence, but it gives young people the chance to get involved with and really make a difference in their hometowns.”
The teams of teens have taken part in community, or ‘social action’, projects involving everything from hosting fundraising events to hands-on involvement with conservation and building.
As well as organising fun days, bike rides, cake sales and coffee mornings for charities, NCS achievements this summer include:
- Organising a day trip adventure for vulnerable adults at the Teamwork Trust in Wellingborough
- Hosting a car boot sale and fun day at Wicksteed Park in Kettering for the New Life Foundation
- Raising awareness for the local library in Towcester
- Renovating Jenny’s Pond in Brackley
- Renovating the canteen and garden at Teamwork Trust Day Centre in Kettering
- Planning activities for elderly residents at the Happy at Home care home in Daventry
- Creating a ‘help the homeless’ campaign in Corby
- Building a recycled sculpture to promote environmental sustainability awareness in Salcey Forest
The teams also spent a week-long residential placement at an adventure centre, experiencing outdoor activities like rock-climbing, raft building, as well as building leadership and teamwork skills.
A second week, called A Taste of Student Life, featured CV-building workshops and presentations from local businesses to help enhance participants’ employability skills while residing at the University of Nottingham.
While this summer’s programme is now coming to an end, young people can now sign up to take part in the NCS condensed autumn programme during the October half-term break, starting October 24.
The programme costs £35 and includes a five night-day stay at an outdoor adventure centre with food, three days of skill-building with local businesses and a social action project.
For more information and to sign up, visit www.ncsem1.org.uk or contact directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Run by the Education Business Partnership, the Northamptonshire branch of NCS, named NCS EM1, is open to young people in Lincolnshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.