What is NCS? National Citizen Service, or NCS, is a program designed for 15 to 17-year-olds in England, that allows them to get out there and learn new things such as life skills. It’s a two-week program. During the first week, participants will have the opportunity to meet new people and push themselves beyond their comfort zone, by having a camping experience and engaging in a variety of mental and physical activities. The second week entails the young teens giving back to their community by volunteering or fundraising.
‘An Eye Opening Experience’ - Nicole Ukpanwanne
During an assembly at Wymondham High, NCS explained who they are and what they do. I knew it was a splendid opportunity to spend my summer with my friends, have a change of scenery, and meet new people. This experience is something my CV can benefit from. I was genuinely inspired and knew I needed to take up this opportunity to be part of this experience.
Week one we conducted enterprise challenges, outdoor activities, and spent time with the people around us, which I thought was a fabulous way to gain confidence.
Week two, our group decided that volunteering around Wymondham was the best course of action, given our limited time. On the first day of our volunteer work, we worked with ‘Wymondham in Bloom’, picking up litter from various locations throughout Wymondham. I was astounded by the amount of litter there was. Doing this allowed me to discover different areas in Wymondham I was unfamiliar with. Then in preparation for Friday's judgement day, we assisted with gardening in the town centre, pulling out stray weeds, ensuring Wymondham looked clean and fresh. This was enjoyable because I gained insight into volunteer work about gardening. It was an excellent opportunity to give back to the community which made me feel proud.
The following day, we travelled to Attleborough to assist in converting a factory into a youth centre. This was thrilling since we had the chance to partake in some construction chores that allowed me to gain some insight and useful skills such as handyman work. On our final day, we once more worked with ‘Wymondham in Bloom’ to pick up litter, followed by walking to Browick Primary School, where we divided into two groups. Our group worked on creating decorations to be displayed around the garden area and group two helped with the main setup such as assembling the tables and tents.
Overall, this was an invaluable experience. I had a wonderful time, and I'm very pleased I decided to participate in the NCS youth program. I met new people, I gained a new fresh mindset and learned how to work independently with confidence whilst having fun, teaching me to be a team player as well as gaining leadership skills. This experience also showed me to be more mindful of our environment. I strongly recommend it to other young people because it is a perfect way to keep yourself active and have a beneficial impact on your community and yourself.