Local community in Welwyn Hatfield benefits from young people’s actions

10 August 2015

Youth Connexions has supported 51 young people from Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield and Welham Green to take part in the National Citizen Service (NCS).

The four-week programme saw 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, which included mountain biking, bridge building and rock climbing; these developed their communication, trust, listening and leadership skills. They also gained qualifications and skills in first-aid, digital media and sign language.

The Welwyn Hatfield team worked in four groups to develop their ideas for their social action projects.

Welhat NCS Summer 2015 For Web

This team have been renovating gardens for elderly and disabled residents at Minster House, a sheltered housing project. They are shown here with Councillor Lynne Sparks, Mayor of Welwyn Hatfield (centre back row)

Team 1 decided to weatherproof sleeping cabins at Cuffley Camp Outdoor Education Centre near Hatfield to benefit young people who use the camp for nature and environmental studies programmes. The team also fundraised for the Phoenix Group for Deaf Children, raising £142. Team 2 chose to redecorate a church hall in Hatfield responding to an identified need in the community.Team 3 have been renovating gardens for elderly and disabled residents at Minster House, a sheltered housing project. Team 4 produced a video documentary on young people’s needs in Welwyn Hatfield area in order to raise awareness of the issue. They also engaged in a project to tidy and refurbish the grounds at Breaks Manor Youth Centre in Hatfield.

Welhat NCS Summer 2015 3 For Web

This team chose to support the Phoenix Group for Deaf Children by holding a cake sale, which raised a total of £142

The experience has not only resulted in widespread contribution to the local community, but has been fun and has taught a wide variety of skills along the way. Participant Charlotte, 16, said "“I’ll be more confident in future and able to work with people I don’t know.” Fellow group member Rosie, aged 15, added that she would be “more confident and able to face my fears and overcome them now.” Ikram, who is 17 said “It was a great experience and I can communicate much better, they (the NCS group) are like a second family to me I don’t want it to end.”

Parents have also valued the programme, with one parent saying “My daughter has been a lot happier while she has been on NCS – she has really enjoyed it”.

The Facilities Manager of Breaks Manor Youth Centre thanked the young people and staff of Youth Connexions saying "I have today taken a walk around the premises including the outside.  It is only now that I can survey the wonderful work the young people and staff have completed on our premises.  I am delighted with the painted benches including an additional one from recycling, the beautiful clean patio area and brick wall and also other painting of fences etc. together with the freshly swept court yard."

Thanks are extended to Foodiewuwdies Catering of Pinner for providing such excellent sandwiches to the teams during their NCS activities.

More information about NCS, including how to sign up.