NCS grad Kai Fletcher went from being a troubled teen with an unstable family life to an award-winning advocate for caring in the community. After working with family-focussed charity Southside – and turning his life around in the process – the 18 year old from Somerset received an invite to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding as recognition of his amazing work.
We caught up with him to see how he’s feeling about the big day.
Hi Kai! How are you feeling about being invited to the Royal Wedding?
It’s unreal! At first, when the Lord-Lieutenant of Somerset called me, I was shocked – I thought it was a prank! Then I received the invite and it hit me. But it for sure hasn’t sunk in.
What does it mean to you to be invited?
It means a lot to be recognised for my work within the community in Bath and North East Somerset. To know that my personal life helped me develop and change the way our communities work for children and young people is incredible.
Can you tell us a bit more about your work with your community?
It all started after being homeless at the age of 15. For over seven months I experienced living on the streets and sofa-surfing, but also attending school and work – I was determined to not let my personal problems affect the way I wanted to be in life and also those around me. From this, I worked with Southside Family Project in Bath to help and adapt a programme for young people who faced the issues I did growing up.
Amazing! And what have you been up to since your summer with NCS?
After doing NCS, I was able to enhance my community work, helping more young people enjoy working with their area, making positive change. NCS gave me so many community opportunities, and since doing the programme I have pushed lots of young people that I’ve worked with to take a look and sign up!
Were any of your projects highlighted in your invite?
The invitation was based on a visit from the Duchess of Cornwall to Southside in 2016, where we spoke about the Young Advocates Project I run. On her visit I was able to tell her my personal background and how Southside helped develop me.
Are there any celebs you’re looking forward to spotting?
I'm a big fan of the Netflix series Suits and have high hopes to meet some of the cast. If I had to choose one person to meet from the programme it would be Sarah Rafferty who plays ‘Donna’.
And what will you be wearing?
I've bought a new navy blue suit with a sky blue tie.
Are you going with anyone special? (And can you bring us??)
Although I would love to bring the entire NCS office and every grad, I can’t. However, I am taking someone who means the world to me and is a big role model – my older sister, Louise.
Royal weddings aside, why would you encourage someone to sign up to NCS this summer?
NCS is an amazing opportunity that you only have the chance to do at a young age. I loved getting to know new people and gaining friends. Since I’ve done NCS, I’ve traveled around the country with them and I’ve met some incredible people. Thanks to NCS I feel confident being me but also confident when I talk about the programme as I have a true passion for it!
Thanks Kai! Good luck at the Wedding and we’ll catch up with you afterwards to hear how it all went.