Young people complete their National Citizen Service


Denise Kempton from the Youth Service has been in touch with this report written by young people from Middleton and Belle Isle who took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) project last year.

Fast forward your future!

“If you live in England and are or will soon be aged 16 – 17, NCS is a once in a lifetime experience. Along with thousands of other people your age, you’ll take part in different outdoor activities, develop skills you didn’t even know you had, learn new things, help your local community and best of all make a load of new friends. You’ll also be given the opportunity to create a project you really care about and bring it to life in your local area”

We signed up to the NCS through our school after the Youth Workers came in to speak to us about it.

NCS Youth 01We met up with the youth workers who are based at the South Leeds Youth Hub in Belle Isle. There we did loads of daft games to get to know each other. Unfortunately there is photographic evidence!

These “warm up sessions” went on for a couple of weeks; our parents even had to make an appearance! (very embarrassing).

Then we were off on our two week residential! The first week was at Angrove Park in North Yorkshire. It was brilliant and again we have the evidence! We slept in posh huts and we were really glad when we could use our hair straighteners.

NCS Youth 02

We came home for the weekend and then we were off again! This time to Herd Farm & Lineham Farm in Leeds. These residential centres are owned by the Youth Service, so the Youth Workers thought it was really funny to say we had to wash in the Eccup reservoir and that we couldn’t use our hair straighteners! Worst bit is we believed them….

NCS Youth 03We took part in activities like mountain biking, walks, climbing, shelter building and team games.

After both the residentials were finished, we had the weekend off and then we started our “social action” part of the project. This part was to work in the local community.

We had to organise this with support from the Youth Workers. So as a group we decided to hold a fund raising event for St Gemma’s Hospice. A member of staff came to speak to us about the work that they do there. It affected us a lot, so we chose to help out.

We secured Elland Road as a venue after receiving a donation from Councillor Harrison. We held a charity fun night on Friday 2 August. We raised a total of £941!!! We received some great donations from business and the public. The Hamara centre in Beeston also donated after seeing our publicity on South Leeds Life!

The second NCS group chose to do two parts to their social action. One was to raise money for the donkey sanctuary near Lineham farm. We made buns to sell in the community and at the local youth clubs.

NCS Youth 04We also chose to help out the Friends Of Middleton Park. We made bird boxes with some funding from the Middleton Councillors. These were then given to the FOMP to put up in the park.

The group also helped out at 2 events held in the park. The Dog show event and the Birds Of Prey event.

“The last four weeks have been one of the most incredible weeks ever. This project has not only been good due to meeting new people. It’s made me gain real friends in different areas. It’s taught me many new skills like team work and it’s made me realise how to act and how to perceive people and opinions in later life. This had been one of the most incredible times and I have you all to thank.”

“The past four weeks have been an incredible adventure. It has given me a huge opportunity to make new friends, bond with people and more. I believe the NCS project has enabled me to understand myself and how to deal with tricky situations. I have learnt to work well in a group and independently and how to help and respond to people’s different reactions and opinions. I am honestly so glad I became a part of this as I have gained so much more confidence and respect for others and myself.”

“The past four weeks have been exceptional. I have made lots of new friends and improved by skills. Team work has been essential for us all to get along, before I came to NCS I didn’t really have any team work skills and experience, this course has improved my co-operation and communication skills.”

“It has been really awesome I have made new friends and really good activities and good food!”

A few months after the end of the project we had a graduation! We all got dressed up and the Lord Mayor gave us our certificates.

It was a great night, and our parents all embarrassed us again by crying! We would recommend the NCS to anyone. So if you are offered the chance this summer please take it!

NCS Youth 05

Written by Team 2 and Team 11 – NCS Leeds Youth Service