ncs 17/09/2018

We’ve been seriously overwhelmed by the quality of ALL the incredible social action projects you guys have put together this year. Each one of you should feel super proud of the work you’ve put in and the impact you’ve made in your local communities – you have really changed people’s lives and shown the world what young people can do. That’s a huge achievement. Congrats!

We’d love to crown you all winners, but unfortunately only four teams can make it onto the shortlist for the coveted position of NCS Social Action Star 2018! So, without further ado, here they are...

Team 1

Project: Foodbank Friendly
Where: Exeter

This group of 13 NCSers created a project that was simple, but incredibly effective; they put a branded ‘Priority Item’ sticker alongside items in a local supermarket that were most in demand at the local food bank. These items were identified by the food bank to encourage people to purchase them and put them in the existing supermarket food bank collection box on their way out. After an initial trial, the food bank saw donations triple and even the supermarket saw an increase in sales. Amazing! 

Danny Harris, the Exeter NCS Lead, said, ‘Food banks are needed more and more. Even if the idea just stays local, even if it helps one extra person, we’ll be pleased. It doesn’t matter if it helps thousands, if it helps one extra person get through for that little bit longer, it’s been worthwhile.’

And they even made the news! You can also follow them on Instagram (foodbankfriendly) and Twitter (@FoodbankF).

Vote for your favourite project on our Twitter poll below! 

Team 2
Project: Loughborough
Where: Loughborough

Initially, this group were aiming to create a sensory garden for the residents of the Derbyshire House care home, designed to break down intergenerational barriers with a particular focus on young people and the elderly, especially those with dementia. However, after talking to the care home residents and staff, they discovered that what they really wanted was a mini golf course!

With that in mind, the team decided to continue creating the sensory garden as a border to the golf course so that the residents would get the best of both worlds!

As well as physically building the golf course itself, the team raised well over £1,000 and managed to get the backing of a large corporation to help maintain the golf course. The golf course obstacles were creatively handmade, even including a bespoke shark head! The residents and staff were overwhelmed at how professional a job the team had done, completely transforming the area and making it a much better place to be for everyone.


Vote for your favourite Phase Three project on our Twitter poll here.


Team 3
Where: Dorset

It’s so important to talk about mental health, especially teen mental health, which often gets swept under the carpet. And this is exactly what this grad team wanted to do. 
Members of the Dorset Regional Youth Board first started their project when they heard about the Dorset Mental Health Alliance, a group of over 80 organisations working together to improve mental health provisions in the county.

They stepped up, and led an interactive meeting all about mental health issues that specifically affect teenagers, such as bullying, loneliness and anxiety. The impact was immediate, with 29 organisations wanting to work with them and their hashtag, #ChangingPerceptions hitting over 1.1 million impressions in the first 24 hours after the meeting.

They also worked with key members of the NHS, aiming to change local government policy so more young people in Dorset will have access to mental healthcare in the future. 
Speaking about the ongoing project, team member Andy said, ‘Together, and only together, can we make this happen.' Check out Flo, Ella and Andy calling for action on teen mental health provisions from charities, the Government and the NCS, here

Vote for your favourite project on our Twitter poll below! 

Team 4
BRFC NCS Galloways Cup 2018
Where: Blackburn  

This group of 11 incredible grads set up a project that could be passed down and strengthened with each new generation of NCSers. Together with Galloway’s Society for the Blind and the Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, they wanted to help the visually impaired in their area in a variety of ways. But the main way was through football!

They arranged a tournament where everyone experienced how difficult sports can be for those living with a visual impairment, bringing the whole community together. They also set up a permanent monthly football session to support the blind and partially sighted, a trip to Berlin to raise awareness of blindness in sports, and made over £1,000 in donations! They are also working with a chain of convenience stores in Blackburn, making sure all their shop labels are brailled, meaning this project is far from over!

Shannon McLaughlin, the chair of the Blackburn Regional Youth Board, said, ‘Our social action project made us realise how difficult it actually is living your day-to-day life not being able to see anything. Watching people of different generations putting themselves in the shoes of blind footballers was amazing to see too.

Blackburn came together as a community that day to support our cause and our social action project showed that there are so many ways to raise awareness for such a strong subject.’


Vote for your favourite Extension Phase project on our Twitter poll here.

Well done to all our nominees! Make sure to cast your vote and help select the best social action project of 2018! 

Voting closes at 23:59, 23/09/18.