[Kealie Mardell and Shelby Loasby | Heads of Print]
NCS, the National Citizen Service, is a four week programme targeted at young people aged 15-17. Running every year, NCS aims to give young people the summer of their lives.
This year the programme came to Hertfordshire Students’ Union for print, radio and TV workshops run by the university’s media outlet, Trident Media UK. The workshops provided an opportunity for young people to learn the skills involved in writing, filming, recording and sharing their ideas through social media.
The skills that the students learned and developed will help them in the next part of the NCS programme, which will see participants planning and delivering a social action project, in order to make a difference in their local community.
By the end of their time at Herts SU, students had interviewed each other on camera and edited the video with UnionTV, as well as recording themselves on Crush Radio, and producing podcasts.
— Youth Connexions WH (@WelHatTeam) July 21, 2015
As part of the print workshop, students were asked to interview each other about their NCS experience, gather quotes and produce paragraphs for this article.
The summer of our lives
When asked for their opinion on the NCS schedule, one young person said: “It was very busy and there was never a dull moment.” The programme lets students learn skills including first aid and sign language. She added that she would recommend the programme because: “It is a great way to meet new people.”
Eki shared the same opinion, “Its great fun and an amazing way to meet new people.” She added, “It is another way to practice and learn new skills whilst being in a team.”
Lauren said, “As I have had such a great time, I would definitely recommend this course to my friends and family as it looks good on your CV and it’s a good opportunity to get a job!”
“I was able to try so many new activities developing many skills along the way,” Amy said. “Quad biking, mountain biking, archery, rock climbing, scavenger hunts and more.”
Maisie Louise Vincent, 17, thoroughly enjoyed her experience at NCS: “Rock climbing was challenging for me, it took a lot to conquer,” she said. But that’s what NCS is all about – conquering your fears and gaining confidence.
Amy, 16, found mountain biking extremely “tiring” and “difficult” yet overcame this with help from fellow NCS participants.
— Herts1125 (@Herts1125) July 16, 2015
Students said that not only have they been able to develop new skills but they have also gained a once in a lifetime opportunity, with confidence, communication and new friendships, as well as overcoming personal challenges, proving that teamwork and support will get you through.
One participant said: “Being on my own was a big part of my life before and I thought I liked the silence, but being at NCS with people has proven to be a lot more enlightening. I wouldn’t have been able to make friends without NCS.”
Danny, who suffers from anxiety, explained that he threw himself into the deep end by taking the NCS trip, but has had the best experience of his life. He said: “It totally changed my perspective, everyone should do it!”
Thank you to all of the NCS participants who contributed to this article – Good luck with your community projects!