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I really recommend NCS!

20 September 2021  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

Our final review in our series of NCS case studies is by Taryn Hodgson, a Year 13 student, who has completed the programme twice and has no hesitation in recommending NCS to anyone who is interested in trying out new things, stepping outside their comfort zone and meeting new people.  Read on to find out more about Taryn’s NCS experience and find out about the fabulous opportunities which will be offered to our Year 11 and 12 students next year. Thank you again to NCS, the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and the wonderful leaders who ensured our students had such valuable and enjoyable experiences on the programme.

This year was actually my second time participating in NCS. Last summer, the pandemic meant that I took part in an NCS experience that was shorter compared to the usual programme. Although I enjoyed it, I missed out on the variety of activities that are normally offered, so I was grateful that I could participate in this year’s programme. The first section was the ‘Adventure Day’, where we went canoeing and challenged ourselves with climbing walls and high ropes courses – I managed to successfully complete the ‘leap of faith’, which was a highlight for me.

For the rest of the first week, we received a variety of workshops, ranging from self-defence and learning about parliament to talking to inspirational ex-professional athletes. One that I particularly enjoyed, was a workshop by the company Loudspeaker that focused on public speaking. As this was my second time doing NCS, I was nervous beforehand as I would be a year older than everyone else on the programme, but the exercises we did with Loudspeaker definitely made me feel more confident, as well as improving my interview skills, which will hopefully be useful for the application process for university.

The second week was focused on our social action project, which is a volunteering project that your group does in the local area. We worked together to raise awareness for young people’s mental health through our scheme Move4MentalHealth, this involved us fundraising money by cumulatively completing 300 miles in three days through running, walking and rowing. We surpassed our £300 target and the money will go towards a course run by MHFA England on mental health first aid training for a member of staff in one of our local schools. My group chose this as our project because it is something that lots of us have personal experiences with, and also the pandemic has had detrimental effects on many people’s mental health and therefore having support in schools is more important than ever. The workshop we had on parliament encouraged us to try and get the government’s attention on our aim of all schools having a mental health first aid trained member of staff. Amazingly, we managed to get Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer and our local MP, to come in and talk to us.

I was responsible for putting together the powerpoint about our social action project and then we all took part in speaking during the presentation, which was definitely a great way to practice our public speaking! I really recommend NCS to anyone who is interested in trying out new things, stepping outside of your comfort zone and meeting new people. The staff at NCS were all incredibly friendly and engaging and I’m very grateful for them providing the opportunity to me.

Taryn Hodgson

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