Autism and Life After NCS - Ben, NCS Grad
NCS grad, Ben, graduated from the programme in autumn 2015 but found that his NCS journey didn’t just end once he graduated. Read on and find out all about Ben’s story here!
I have ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and when I did NCS, I wanted my social action project to focus on young people who have ASD like me. While researching for our project – Project Sense – I found that all of us had one common connection – we all wanted to improve the facilities for young people with additional needs, such as ASD, at our college.
To do this, we wanted to build our very own sensory room, so we raised money by asking friends and family to donate funds towards buying the equipment to make it happen. Once we made a plan, we bought the lighting and tools, painted the room and created the best sensory room the college has had to date! Our story and Project Sense made it into the local press and we were even featured on the local television news!
Completing NCS has opened up so many opportunities for me. It has built my confidence, helped me make new friends and I even joined the Regional NCS Youth Board, which has been another amazing experience!
The NCS North East Regional Youth consists of 18 NCS grads and it gives us a platform to voice how we think the NCS programme should run. We even got the chance to speak at the House of Lords, in London, to inform politicians about NCS and how brilliant it is! We meet every two months and plan events like social action projects and the regional NCS graduate reunion event. The venue for the reunion was packed, and we generated lots of donations for youth homelessness in the North East, which was donated to Centrepoint – a local charity. Search #NCSsequel on Twitter to see some pics from the event!
As part of the Youth Board, I’ve had the opportunity to go to NCS YES Live – hosted at the Camden Roundhouse in London – which is a big gig and awards show put on for NCS grads to celebrate all the hours they put in towards social action. At NCS YES Live, along with other NCS events, I managed to meet celebrities like Melvin Odoom, Alexandra Burke, Reggie & Bollie and Ben Heanow! If you’re interested in Social Action and volunteering, we do a lot of that too on top of all the other amazing stuff!
As you’ll already know, NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you can meet some pretty incredible people while doing some amazing things, but it doesn’t have to stop once you graduate – NCS gives you loads of opportunities even after the programme.
Hopefully you have had as much fun doing NCS as I did last year and can stay involved in NCS as a graduate like I have. Thanks for reading!