Not only was NCS YES Live an amazing musical extravaganza, it was also an opportunity to toast the social action stars who’ve achieved extraordinary things on NCS.
There were some really inspiring nominees for our first ever Social Action Star Award presented by Santander – five incredible projects where young people took the bull by the horns (not literally) and made a massive difference in their communities. We were spoilt for choice when it came to deciding who should scoop the Social Action Star award. But there had to be one winner, and it’s…(drumroll)...Team Brah!
These six amazing teenagers from Newcastle created a hard-hitting stop motion video to raise awareness for LGBT issues in the north-east. In the video, they used lego as a symbol “because our main motto was your sexuality is a piece of you”. But they didn’t stop there – the team made and sold 200 string bracelets, completed a sponsored walk and busked in Newcastle city centre. Not only that, the team raised £850 which they donated to The Albert Kennedy Trust, which deals with under 25s LGBT homelessness as well as those living in hostile environments. An amazing social action effort and a true example of the NCS spirit!
At NCS YES Live, Team Brah were handed their award by NCS patron Jamal Edwards. The award itself is made from recycled materials and has a striking abstract design in the shape of a deconstructed star – Sagittarius ain’t got nothin’ on us...
Team Brah were worthy winners, but the awards glamour didn’t stop there! At YES Live we were also delighted to announce the Most Inspirational Team Leader award, also presented by Santander. This was a chance to recognise the incredible work undertaken by NCS volunteers in inspiring young people and making the programme happen on the ground. This time, the winner was…(drumroll again, please)...Emma Ramshaw!
Emma has been an NCS volunteer mentor with North Tyneside’s VODA (Voluntary Organisations Development Agency) ever since the programme began in 2011. She’s supported nearly 200 young people in the region, helping shape young lives and give NCSers a platform from which they can fulfil their potential. Robin Fry, VODA’s volunteer centre manager who made the nomination, described Emma as “an inspiration, a role model and a gift...the embodiment of the NCS ethos”.
After winning the award, Emma described NCS as “an amazing adventure, one that has shaped me into the person I am now”. She added: “The best part of supporting young people on NCS is seeing them grow; to see them overcome huge challenges they never believed they could; to see them develop new skills and of course seeing them succeed.”
A massive well done to Emma – a great achievement, and a double-win for the north-east at YES Live!
We’re really proud of our worthy winners, as well as the brilliant nominees. NCS wouldn’t be the life-changing experience it is without the the dedication of our young people and staff. We salute you!