National Citizen Service - in their own words

09 March 2016

A group of young people in East Herts took part in National Citizen Service delivered by Youth Connexions during February. This is their own write-up of how they got on.....

"NCS stands for the National Citizen Service that is a government funded project run nationwide. NCS consists of a residential trip, a skills course and a social action project.

"The residential trip enables young people to meet others and work as teams to complete challenges that are often out of their comfort zones. The skills course aims to build skills for work and life, develop social skills and allow the young people to get their voices heard. The social action project is a project thought of and designed by the young people, which aims to make a difference within the community and help those in it. The NCS course provides the young people taking part with accreditations and AQAs as well as improving the quality of their CV, UCAS forms and personal statements.

"Youth Connexions ran our programme as well as 2 other programmes during the school summer holidays and the October half term.  They took us to Kingswood in Norfolk to complete our residential, where we took part in activities, such as go karting, zip wiring, abseiling, fencing and archery as well as working together as a team to complete activities such as shelter building, the nightline and team challenges. While doing this we became closer as a group and developed individually by conquering fears and pushing ourselves to attempt new activities.

"Our skills course was a 3 day long process where we learnt many different things. It included learning how to have a conversation in sign language, how to do first aid, CPR and how to use a defibrillator as well as how to cook a meal.

Marsh Lane Wip2

Clearing the ground for the new garden area at Marsh Lane youth centre

 "As a group we decided we were going to do a garden project as our social action plan to improve the garden area at the youth centre in Ware, Marsh Lane. We planned to clear the area and put down turf and different plants. Before we began the physical aspect of the social action plan we needed to research which plants were best suited to the conditions we wanted to grow them in, what tools we would need in order to complete what we wanted to do and also the cost of the different plants and accessories which we wanted to put in the garden area. We contacted local businesses to see if any donations could be made.  While doing all of this, and working as a team to come up with the final design of the garden we began clearing the area.

Marsh Lane Grass Laying 3  Marsh Lane Grass Laying 2

The next step - laying turf and bark

"After the area had been completely cleared we began putting down the turf and bark, which we needed to use in order to create the look we wanted. Once the area had been surfaced, we began buying and then planting the plants where we wanted them to be placed, and where we thought was most suitable for the type of plant. After all the plants had been positioned and planted, we began to put in place the bench, water feature and fairy lights, which we had previously bought. We also spent time using our talents to design a picture that could be painted onto the end of the container in order to make it more artistic and to add our own touch and originality to the garden.

Marsh Lane After 2

The finished effect...a total transformation!

"Once the project had been completed we wanted to celebrate our achievement in some way and so we organised a BBQ. The BBQ was a great way to show people the work we had done for the community while celebrating and enjoying the company of the others in our group before the experience was all over."

Find out more about NCS and express an interest.

If you have experience of working with young people, are over 20 and would like to work as a temporary youth support worker on NCS this summer, click here.