Young people from North Herts raise over £800 for charities during their summer holidays

09 August 2016

Youth Connexions has supported 50 young people from Hitchin, Letchworth, Baldock and Royston to take part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.

The four-week full time programme sees young people choose worthwhile community causes, plan and budget for the projects, 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 developed their communication, trust, listening and leadership skills. They also gained a qualification in first aid.

North Herts NCS Group Summer 2016 For YCH Site

The first week of the programme was a residential at the Kingswood Centre in the Isle of Wight. Highlights of the week were body boarding in the Channel, riding a giant zip wire and taking part in team games. The young people faced new challenges, overcame their fears, formed new friendships and improved their team work skills.

In week two the young people attended Framlingham College in Suffolk for their second residential. Here they were trained in first aid and spent time planning their social action projects. They gave presentations and took part in confidence-building drama sessions.

Weeks three and four were spent fundraising and carrying out the social action projects. The group identified a number of charities and organisations that they wanted to help including: children’s cancer charity Ben’s Heroes Trust; the Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA); Cancer Research UK; and the mental health charities MIND and Viewpoint. They then thought of a number of fundraising activities, including a sponsored bike ride, a market stall, a family fun day and a bag-packing day at Sainsbury’s.

The bag packing raised over £480 for Ben’s Heroes Trust and 12 young people successfully completed a sponsored bike ride around Letchworth in aid of CLAPA and MIND. A total of over £800 was raised by the young people for their chosen charities.

They young people also spent a half day at North Herts College where they had the opportunity to try a range of different subjects such as plumbing, electronics, bricklaying, and mechanics. Some of the young people have now signed up with the college as a result of this taster day.

Here’s what some of the young people said about their NCS experience with Youth Connexions:

Charles (aged 16): “I have had so much fun and have made many new friends. I have also learned many new things.”

Liam (aged 16): “I have really increased my confidence and communication skills.”

Hollie (aged 16): “It has made me appreciate others more and I have really developed my communication skills.”

Harry (aged 16): “I have had such a fantastic time and got so much from the programme “

One parent described their son as “a different person” as a result of the programme, and went on to comment on how he had positively changed as a result of working with Youth Connexions over the four weeks.

More information about NCS can be found here.

Want to sign up for an autumn programme? Register your interest here.