Meeting new people can always be a daunting experience but when you’re in the same situation as a group of others it can help to calm the nerves. Back in the summer of 2016 I took part in something called NCS (National Citizen Service).
This government run scheme is a great way to gain new skills and be a part of something which helps your local community, it also looks great on a CV. There’s different groups you can be involved in ranging from Sports to Business, I personally chose Photography as that was an area I am very interested in.
Week One : Adventure Time
During the first week we went to the Brecon Beacons and enjoyed a week of team building through various outdoor activities. This included a hike on Blorenge Mountain showing the best views of the valley, kayaking along a tranquil canal and lastly caving in Waterfall Country. The scenery was stunning, if you ever get chance I’d recommend going there on a hike.
Week Two : Independent Stay
After the first week was up it was time for some needed rest for the weekend back at home before it was time for the second week. This second part required a university stay where it taught us independence in cooking our own meals for the week. If you want a taster for the University Experience you can get a snipped of that whilst on NCS. We also had a ‘Come Dine With Me’ competition with the rest of the groups where we were required to prepare a meal for our team leaders. My flat won! Nothing like a friendly bit of competition.
During the second week we were taught our specialised skills before heading off to our community partner. Whilst learning about what the centre does for the local community, our role was to take photos of the children in their environment. The only challenge we had was taking photos of the children playing without including their faces due to privacy concerns, so we had to find creative ways to capture the children amongst the garden.
What stood out to me was the luscious garden filled with growing plants and ripening fruits. The children was allowed to roam around freely and enjoy all the benefits of the garden. One little girl could not stop munching on the raspberries no matter how many times she was encouraged not to (they were delicious though). I chose to focus the fruits when taking pictures of the garden and the children amongst it. This little section of the community was creating something magical and special in an area which needed a little love.
Week Three : Raising Awareness
This week required us to come up with a plan to help raise awareness for a cause of our choice which we would later pitch to a panel of ‘Dragons’, we needed to pitch our ideas in order to receive money to help fund our campaign. In order to gain more knowledge before the pitch our team visited a local business that has great importance in preserving the skill of leather craftsmanship as well as rich links to saddles made for the Royal Family. It was definitely an interesting visit.
After the visit to a local business and a successful pitch it was time to start preparing for the campaign. I volunteered myself to be part of marketing where I could help produce business cards. These business cards were used as part of our campaign day to hand out information to the public. It directed the audience on how they could help out the local community.
Our campaign was to raise awareness for the local community and to reduce any prejudice against members of it. We chose ‘Knock out Negative Influence’ as our slogan. After a successful day we met back at base, it was time to say our goodbyes and reminisce on the past three weeks.
If your interested in going and your aged between 15-17, I would fully recommend signing up and taking part. You become part of something bigger, whilst helping out your local area and learning new skills.
Here’s the link if you want to learn more… http://www.ncsyes.co.uk/