In July-August 2015 I took part in NCS (The National Citizen Service) in my local area. I wanted to tell you all about my experience of it and tell you what I’ve got out of it.
I’m going to start off by telling you what NCS is for those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about! NCS is “a way for 15 to 17 year olds living in England and Northern Ireland to make extraordinary friendships, learn the skills they don’t teach you in class and create unforgettable memories.”
I found out about NCS at a University Fair, they told me and my friends about what the experience would entail and it sounded amazing! We all loved the sound of it so signed up. Unfortunately due to reasons all my friends had to drop out but I still wanted to try it as it sounded so good!
A month or two before NCS started we had a taster day, the first one being an outdoor activity one and then a cooking/problem solving one. Although I thoroughly enjoyed both of these I was still apprehensive about doing the residentials (because I get anxious over stuff like that). But anyway I agreed to do it.
On July 20th, we set off from a meeting point on a big bus to Manor Adventure (Shropshire). I had made friends with two girls on the taster days so I stuck with them on the bus journey. To cut a long story short we did so many activities in the first week including- a sailing, canoeing, mountain biking, high ropes and so many other things! I also had my birthday on the second day and they made me a cake and made me feel v special!! I LOVED this week, I conquered so many fears, made new friends and laughed more than I had in ages!
Here’s a few photos from the first week:
This week we went to Oxenwood in Wiltshire. This week was so productive, we did loads of courses and got loads of qualifications including a first aid course, sports leadership, ASDAN Leadership and a few others. We also did some fun activities too like a night hike (I won’t mention how my team got very lost haha), rifle shooting and rock climbing.
I found this week the bonds between us grew even more and it was then I realised that these people would be friends for life!
Again- have some photos!
So this is Social Action project weeks. Social Action projects are basically where as a group you do something to help in the community. Our group wanted to break down the stereotypes between teenagers and the elderly. We wanted to spend time with the elderly in the community changing their perceptions of us. We visited several care homes and groups with the elderly doing tasks with them. We also learnt useful skills in this week- as we had to organise all the meetings with the elderly ourselves.
I enjoyed this part of NCS sooooo much, it was so rewarding and I learnt loads of new things!
On top of this we were raising money for Age UK. Through bag packing, cake sales and a triathlon we raised over £500!!!
What’s happening now?
Now I’m currently on the NCS graduate course where we are working with Healthwatch to help make health services better in our local area. I’m still gaining so many new skills and having soooo much fun!
This is also training us to possibly be an NCS ambassador this summer!!! eeeek!
Overall, NCS was one of the best experiences of my life and I can’t recommend it to anyone enough! If you’re aged 15/17 and want a summer to remember then sign up here!!
I’ve made some of my best friends through the course and I can’t stress enough how much I’d recommend it!
If you want to see any NCS tips/advice or what to pack etc. then let me know!
Hope you’ve enjoyed!