Young people from East Herts contribute to their local community
28 July 2015
Young people from East Hertfordshire have been learning new skills while giving something back to their communities during the summer holidays.
Youth Connexions has supported 37 young people from Bishops Stortford, Sawbridgeworth, Hertford, Ware, Much Hadham and Buntingford to undertake community projects.
The four-week National Citizen Service (NCS) programme sees the young people choose a worthwhile community cause, plan and budget for the project, raise funds and carry out the work.
During week one, they went on a residential visit to Worksop College in Nottinghamshire. The activities undertaken included team games, bush crafts, bridge building, swimming, crate stacking, rifle range, archery and quad bikes. Key areas of learning for the young people included communication skills, team work, leadership and organisational skills.
For the week two residential the group went to Writtle College in Chelmsford and undertook a range of activities including first aid, sign language, map reading and navigation skills. They began research and planning for their social action project and developed their skills in presentation, problem solving and team building.They also gained qualifications and skills in first-aid.
The East Herts team was then located in two geographical groups: Bishops Stortford and Hertford. The Bishops Stortford team held a talent showcase on Friday 24th July at Northgate Youth Centre, with all proceeds going to Age Concern. The young people raised over £200 in attendance charges, refreshments and a cake sale. This team has also been delivering sessions at Age Concern’s Apton Centre in Bishops Stortford, where people aged over 55 years can meet and socialise. Sessions have included arts and crafts, music and games.
Senior residents at Age Concern’s Apton Centre in Bishops Stortford enjoyed a music performance ....and a game or two of Jenga!
The Hertford team held a family fun day on Thursday 23rd July raising money for Mudlarks, a local charity for adults with additional needs. The fun day included face painting, hair braiding, beat the goalie, fun run, raffle and cake sale. The young people have been working at Mudlarks allotment where they are cutting down hedges which had become overgrown, pruning roses, weeding and tidying the garden area. The group raised in excess of £300 which Mudlarks will spend on gardening tools and plants.
Participant Shaunnah, 15, said "It’s been good to be part of a team and I have become more confident.”
Fellow team member Leah, 16, added “When they say it’s a once in a lifetime experience, it really is.”
Parents have also valued the programme, with Robert and Sally Fowell saying “We have seen our daughter grow in confidence… she has become more outgoing and happier in herself. She has been keen and motivated to attend the sessions and being part of the NCS programme has given her the confidence to go out, meet new people and make new friends”.