Young people learn new skills and support charities with Youth Connexions' National Citizen Service
26 August 2016
The four-week 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 complete a community project, the young people also take part in team-building exercises, which developed their communication, trust and leadership skills.
During the first week the young people took part in challenging activities at a residential at an outdoor education centre on the Isle of Wight. They learnt new practical skills doing activities such as working as a team on high ropes and trapezes and a low ropes obstacle course.
The second week was another residential; this time in Hertfordshire, where Youth Connexions staff delivered a programme preparing young people for the challenges they may face when leaving home. Young people took part in workshops on ‘Risk taking and road safety’ lead by Hertfordshire Air Ambulance staff, ‘Independent living’ by workers from Herts Young Homeless, ‘Personal branding and resilience’ run by Youth Connexions personal advisers who also offered them individual appointments at the YouthPoint Centre for Young People in Watford.
For their social action project, the young people looked into many different charities before deciding which ones to support. They researched how much money each charity expected to receive every year compared with how much money they needed to continue to run. As a result they chose to support the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance Service and the Little Princess Trust, a worldwide charity which provides real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.
To raise funds for the charities they took part in a sponsored bike ride and a fancy dress charity collection on Rickmansworth High Street. They also put on a fun day at West Hyde Youth Centre. They found the planning and running of such a large event, including risk assessing all aspects, much more complicated than they had envisaged, however, they met the challenge. All the young people felt that they learnt a lot in the process.
In total they raised an impressive £2,110 – to be split equally between the two charities.
Cristina Barone, Herts Fundraising Manager, Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust, said “Congratulations on the amount raised for the chosen charities! Such an amazing achievement! It was great seeing how much effort they all put into the event!”
This is what the young people had to say about their NCS experience with Youth Connexions:
‘I can’t believe how much money we raised as a group in one week – I’m really glad I took part in NCS’ – Ross, aged 16
‘I’ve met so many people on NCS that I would never have met and made friends with in my day to day life’ – Shy, aged 16
Find out more about NCS with Youth Connexions here.
Want to sign up for the Autumn programme? Express your interest here.