My son’s life-changing experience with Youth Connexions National Citizen Service (NCS)
I’m Sarah and mum to Charlie, 17. Charlie found out about National Citizen Service (NCS) at a local Youth Project he used to attend in St Albans. He came back one evening saying that he had signed up to take part and that it would involve a short trip away and organising a local community project as part of a team. He was undecided about his future at that point: whether to go to college or to work full time for the company who had employed him at weekends for the previous two years.
He didn’t really share much of the details about NCS but was keen to tell us about the weekly meetings and what they had planned. When he signed up for NCS with Youth Connexions for their programme we were unsure whether he would stay the course. However, he surprised us with his commitment to attend all of the sessions, and on time! He was really enthusiastic about the plans they were making and I think more so because this is something he had signed up for and committed to independently. Because we hadn’t suggested it and didn’t actually know anything about it until he told us, it was interesting and great to see him run with it.
After each meeting he would come back fired up about what they were doing next. Every time Charlie returned home after attending one of the NCS sessions he was full of passion for the project. It has given him a sense of worth and value and he has even talked about the possibility of having a career in a similar field in the future, working with young people. I think the best bit for him was the three day residential trip. He made new friends from other parts of the county and still meets up with them now.
We saw Charlie grow in confidence and you can see that he feels valued and that his opinion counts. We think the Youth Connexions NCS programme had a big part to play in that. He is making responsible choices and decided to stay with his job full-time. I would fully encourage any young person given this opportunity to seize it with both hands. It might be a little out of their comfort zone at times but the rewards are so worth it. The sense of self achievement is fantastic.
It’s not too late to sign up to the 2015 February half-term Youth Connexions NCS programme. Programmes also run in the summer and autumn half-term 2015. The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a fun, challenging, personal and social development programme which helps young people aged 15-17 (School Years 11 and 12) to become more confident by taking part in socially responsible activities such as social action projects.
For more information, please see our website: https://www.youthconnexions-hertfordshire.org/youth-work/national-citizen-service/
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