231 16-17 years olds took part in this summer’s National Citizen Service (NCS), beginning their journey by coach and ferry to Adventure Activities on the Isle of Wight.
Here, they did sea kayaking, coasteering, axe throwing, bushcraft skills, and giant paddle boarding.
The activities enabled the group to bond as a team, which stood them in good stead for the rest of the programme.
Week 2 gave the young people a taste of university life at the University of Sussex, Falmer Brighton, where the group developed life skills, learned about each other’s backgrounds, challenged life perceptions on a range of topics to break down barriers, and took part in some challenges around Brighton city centre.
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Arguably the most rewarding part is the two-week social action projects the young people chose as their cause, where they decide among themselves what they will do and how they will campaign – this could be fundraising, raising awareness, supporting local community and voluntary sector groups and charities, or anything else they can think of.
The charities and community partners chosen by the young people this summer to help were: Crawley Open House; Giving Back Crawley; Blue Light Programme; Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA); CAMEO (Come And Meet Each Other); Dementia UK; Alzheimer’s Society; St Catherine’s Hospice; Young Epilepsy; Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity; Sussex Oakleaf (Be OK program); Find it Out
In total, all 16 teams together donated nearly 9,000 hours of their time and raised £7,610.96 (remembering not all did fundraising).
Overall the projects had an estimated reach of 16,500 people! A couple of highlights to share with you include Team 16, who worked with Young Epilepsy.
Two of the Team are affected by this condition, so it was close to their hearts and was an easy decision for them to decide who to work with.
They set out to make a First Aid video of what to do in case you come across someone having a seizure. They then made a VLOG (video log) of a day in the life of someone with epilepsy, with some facts about the condition, and finally an information video to educate others.
Their First Aid video has been viewed more than 10,000 times already!
The videos can be found on Facebook at @YoungEpilepsy and Twitter @youngepilepsy and @16_ncs.
Team 12 also created a video, entitled ‘Under the Mask’, raising awareness about Mental Health and the support that the Find It Out Centre and Kooth provide.
This can be found on YouTube searching for NCS Team 12.
We would like to thank all our partners who we worked with over this past year, and all the secondary schools for working with us to provide this opportunity for the young people of Crawley.
We would particularly like to thank Crawley College and the Gatwick School, who both donated space to us this summer to use as a base for all the amazing charitable projects – without them this simply would not have been possible.
The summer culminates with a graduation on Thursday 30th August at Brighton Aldridge Community Academy, to celebrate all the amazing work the young people have achieved this summer.
NCS Coordinator Elinor Adie said this, “Despite being involved with NCS for over 4 years, the thing that never stops amazing me is what a team of 15 young people can achieve in just a few weeks!
They learn new skills, get to know new people, and best of all get involved in their local community – resulting in much more confident and better prepared young people who can use their new found skills to further themselves and their community.”
“The effort and hard work that has been put in from Eli and Smithy, NCS Coordinators, this past year in order to ensure that this summer was the success it was, including the long hours and lack of sleep during the summer programme is outstanding and they should be just as proud of themselves as the young people that have achieved great things this summer!
“Over the course of the summer, we’ve seen 231 young people take part in NCS in Crawley.
“It’s an honour to be part of the journey each young person takes and to see the progress of each young person over the course of the eight weeks.”
Our other NCS Coordinator Ellie Smith, had this to say, “Being my first summer, I didn’t know what to expect. To lead Crawley Town Community Foundation’s biggest programme ever was certainly a big step up to what I had been used to! However, this year I have seen 231 young people from all around Crawley sign up for NCS, and I can honestly say that every single one has reminded me of the power the programme has, and why I do this job.”
If you are aged 16-17 and missed out on the summer programme, you can sign up for our autumn programme coming up in October half-term.
Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org go to http://www.ctcommunityfoundation.com/ncs or call 01293 410 000 to find out more.