Young people love life on NCS

NCS, the National Citizen Service, is the initiative that promises the experience of turning ‘no you can’t’ into ‘yes you can’, with 16 and 17 year olds given the opportunity to develop their skills and their sense of teamwork during the fortnight’s program.

The first week is devoted to a residency where the young people work together for a mixture of activities and workshops, in some cases to overcome their fears, before the second week where they design and carry out their own social action project with the support from Foundation staff.

The first of the Foundation’s two summer cohorts have completed their programme, including residency at the Hen Cloud Outdoor Leisure Center near Leek, and the second cohort will start on Monday.

“It was great to revisit residential, the first we’ve been able to do in three years because of the pandemic,” said Bradley Moore, senior education manager at the Wolves Foundation.

“It was a really exciting week not only for the young people, but also for the staff who enjoyed getting out and helping to organize activities.

“It was a very varied week with a mix of different activities, starting on the day we arrived with a graffiti workshop where participants were able to show off their artistic talents and come away with their own canvas at the end.

“There was also a day of water sports and orienteering, a ‘food for thought’ session by making smoothies and an activity called ‘Weaselling’.

“It’s known as that because of the nature of what they had to do, including climbing Hen Cloud, going over, under, through and around like a weasel!

“A few of the young people were dizzy and had to conquer their fears, but it was a really beneficial activity to encourage them to do so and to support each other.

“We also had a visit from Clare Mullin, an Outreach Officer in Parliament who works as Senior Education and Engagement Officer for the West Midlands.

“Clare gave a talk on how young people could influence politics in the future, as well as the importance of their social action project.

“It was parliamentary outreach work which they all really appreciated, another very valuable part of a busy week.

“All participants had a great time getting out of their comfort zone, discovering new activities and meeting new people.

“Obviously we now live in a very digital world, but the phone service and signal at Hen Cloud was very limited, so everyone had to interact with each other face to face, which was great to see. .”

Over the course of the week, attendees banded together to deliver a Dragon’s Den-style “pitch” to decide on the social action project, and a secret ballot determined that the theme would focus on sustainability and the environment over the course of the week. of the second week based in Molineux.

“The beauty of the social action project is that it is led by the young people themselves and simply guided by us so that they can really develop and pursue their own ideas,” added Brad.

One of the participants, Anna Mayor, 16, from Codsall, first became interested in participating in the NCS after hearing about it at a school assembly and was delighted to have taken part.

“I didn’t come with any of my friends because I wanted to meet a lot of new people from all over Wolverhampton and do a lot of different activities,” Anna said.

“I really liked the idea of ​​going camping and with the social action too, it was a nice challenge and a nice thing to do during the holidays.

“We organized how we could promote positive environmental change around Molineux, which went well and was a lot of fun.

“I think recycling is a bit of a mess now, the worst in ages, so for us to do something to help it as a group will help us do more of it, so it’s really important to do that. . here.

“The residence for the week was so good, we did rock climbing and weasel, where we went through all the little holes in the hills, and water sports.

“I like to be adventurous and get out of the house – and that was everything you couldn’t do at home.

“The weaselling was probably my favorite – you went so high and you could see so far! I took so many pictures, it was awesome.

“Without NCS, it’s something I probably wouldn’t have had to do for a long time, so to do it all in a week was really cool and I loved it.”

Dino J. Dotson