I’ve always wanted to make a change in someone’s life; whether that’s helping with homework, supporting with their problems or even raising money for a charity. When NCS was first advertised to me at my school, I immediately wanted to do it! It looked fun, different and like an opportunity for an amazing summer.
Being put into teams with random people really helped me branch out and discover new things about different people - most importantly myself. It brought out skills and qualities in me that I never knew I had, including leadership skills, communication skills and realising how competitive I was. Teamwork was required in many of the activities, so I had the chance to bond and help everyone in the team. It was incredible to see everyone (me included) face challenges like caving and climbing a waterfall - it really made me grow as a person.
Halfway through NCS, I had to overcome the tragedy of someone close to me passing away. Although this was a huge shock, I didn’t hesitate about coming back. In fact, I came back within a few hours as I felt the NCS team would really take my mind off things, which they immediately did. They were so supportive and helped me get back on track instantly, making me realise how strong I was.
During NCS, The Voice singer Jermain Jackman visited us. I’m a budding singer and I asked Jermain for some tips. He told me that I shouldn’t worry about what other people think and that I should believe in myself and know that I’m good.
One of the best parts of NCS was spending time with my group, planning our social action project. The idea of helping the homeless sprung up, as we felt homeless people are often shunned by society and deserve more attention than many people give them. Personally, what made me very passionate about this was that I worked with someone who was homeless. She struggled every day to find food and drink, but she was helped and managed to get her life back on track and is now studying at university.
This is the type of change I want to make.
We wanted to make as much money as possible, so decided to do as many fundraisers as we could, including putting together bags packed with necessities for homeless people, a sponsored dip, a bake sale and a family fun day. Overall, we raised over £1,000, which we were truly proud of.
NCS opened my eyes to volunteer work and I do not want this to be the end of my NCS journey – I want it to be the beginning. So I am signing up to my local youth board and also considering the International Citizen Service (ICS) programme when I am 18 in order to extend my love for helping others globally.
I am not sure if I would have discovered my passion for helping people without NCS and I cannot thank my NCS leaders enough for what they have introduced me to and how inspirational they have been. I would like to make them, my family and myself proud and achieve great things in years to come.
Thank you NCS for this life-changing experience!