Young people from Stevenage demonstrate their community spirit during their summer holidays

06 September 2017

YC Hertfordshire supported young people from Stevenage to take part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme which boosts young people’s confidence and equips them with the skills needed as they approach adulthood.

The four-week full time programme saw the young people  choose worthwhile community causes, plan and budget for the projects, raise funds and carry out the work.

The young people took part in two residential weeks at an outdoor activity centre in North Wales, and then at the University of Hertfordshire campus in Hatfield. These included team-building exercises where they developed their communication, trust, listening and leadership skills. The young people also gained a qualification in first aid before starting work on planning for their social action project.

The group decided to choose the charity Age UK for their social action project, researching the charity and finding out about the work of the local  branch based in Welwyn Garden City called Active Ageing.

They also wanted to raise awareness among their peers and members of the public about services that can be accessed through Age UK as let people know what they can do to help elderly people in their community.

The group designed and launched a website called Pro Age and also launched a Twitter account to raise awareness about elderly people’s experiences.

The group gave a presentation to Vicky Kelly, Head of Active Ageing, at The Bowes Lyon Centre in Stevenage and also had a very successful visit to Wisden Court Care Home in Stevenage, where they spent a whole day baking for the residents , and enjoyed playing board games with the residents.

Wisden Court Care Home Manager Tracey Fletcher said: “The group did so well and demonstrated a high level of empathy for our elderly residents. We would love them to come back regularly for visits as the residents were delighted to have the young people’s company.”

The YC Hertfordshire Senior Youth Worker in Stevenage, Rachael Tomkins, said: “Quite a few of our group were unsure about what they were going to do post Year 11. NCS has really helped them to think about important decisions for their futures. We were very fortunate to secure a guided visit to Oaklands College in St Albans, where the group were able to meet course tutors and discuss potential options for programmes.”

For more information about NCS with YC Hertfordshire, visit www.ychertfordshire.org