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NCS students are community champions

14 October 2019  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in:

Spearheaded by Sandra Johnson, Assistant Headteacher, the National Citizen Service (NCS) is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds in England and helps students build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn, bringing together young people from different backgrounds and encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication. Richmond School is privileged to hold Gold Championship status for its work in embracing and promoting the NCS scheme, the only school in Richmondshire and Hambleton to hold this honour. Joe Hughes and Nick Chapman were two of 63 Richmond School students who took part. Their group of fourteen included nine Richmond School students. Here they tell us about their experiences and why they believe NCS is a great project to get involved in. Spearheaded by Sandra Johnson, Assistant Headteacher, the National Citizen Service (NCS) is open to all 16 and 17-year-olds in England and helps students build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. It runs in the spring, summer and autumn, bringing together young people from different backgrounds and encourages personal and social development by working on skills like leadership, teamwork and communication. Richmond School is privileged to hold Gold Championship status for its work in embracing and promoting the NCS scheme, the only school in Richmondshire and Hambleton to hold this honour. Joe Hughes and Nick Chapman (pictured seated at the piano) were two of 63 Richmond School students who took part. Their group of fourteen included nine Richmond School students. Here they tell us about their experiences and why they believe NCS is a great project to get involved in. Rishi Sunak MP had heard about the great work of NCS and wanted to visit a group during their community project – he chose Joe and Nick’s group because their idea was so clever and different to the others. Don’t miss the video of the culmination of their project here and see Rishi’s full article here .    Why you chose to take part in NCS? I chose to take part in NCS because not only would it look great on my CV, but it would be something fun to do during the summer holidays with my friends. (Nick)  What did you do in the first week? We went to wales and took part in many group activities such as bush craft, group paddle boarding, kayaking, expeditions and catapult building which all helped us bond as a group.  (Joe)   What happened in the second week?  Week two was all about learning new skills and planning for week three. We learnt: first aid, public speaking, debate skills, problem solving and environmental impact. Towards the end of the week we started concentrating on organising our social action project. We came up with a plan and assessed the sustainability and legacy of the project and then presented it in a dragon’s den pitch at the end of the week. (Nick)   Tell us about your social action plan in week three?  Week three was the week in which we needed to raise the money for the project and then carry it out over a period of at least 30 hours. We started on the first day with a penny mile, which allowed us to raise over £300 in just the first day. In the following days up, until Friday, we held bake sales and a sponsored swim which managed to get the total up to £500. This allowed us to buy a piano for Rosedale care home in Catterick, with enough to spare to buy a new home for their new rabbits. Overall, we were very pleased with the outcome of the project because it will leave a lasting legacy of the hard work and dedication of our group. (Nick)   How did you come up with the idea?  After a day of throwing ideas at each other that just wouldn’t work I came up with the idea of giving a piano to a care home because of the long lasting legacy of the idea. It was a unique idea compared to a lot of other groups in the past. (Joe)   How did you move the piano? One of the great things about NCS is that you meet people from a lot of different backgrounds. This is a great thing that we could take advantage of. One of the members in my group had parents that owns a moving company, which allowed us to move the piano to the destination without cost, which meant that more of the donated money could go towards the Care Home itself. (Nick)   How did you find the home? During the planning stage we had people split into different jobs in order to accomplish our goal. We had a team of people who phoned every single care home in the Richmond area, asking them if they wanted a piano. It was surprisingly hard to find a care home that would accept a piano. However, I am glad that it went to Rosedale Care home because they only had a little keyboard, making it a massive upgrade.  (Nick)   What benefits do you think it brought to the residents of the home? We hope that both the initial playing of the piano by me and Nick and the rest of our group going around talking to the residents brought joy to the residents and if the piano is played by the residents or visitors that it will bring them happiness again. We also hoped that the piano may spark a lost memory for one of the residents. (Joe)   How did you feel after you’d delivered the piano and witnessed the reaction of the residents? – We felt like we had accomplished something good and contributed to the community. (Joe)  I was very happy with the reaction of the residents of the care home. They were tapping along to the music and one resident even had a go at playing the piano. (Nick)   Would you recommend NCS to Year 11 students? Week 1 of NCS with the activities was a fun week to get to know my group and make new friends. Even through week 2 of learning new skills and planning the social action project wasn’t the highlight of the three weeks, there were fun activities and important life skills learnt that makes NCS so great to put on your job and university applications. Week 3 had the payoff of all the planning and hard work, allowing us to help the community. Overall NCS was a great opportunity, through which I met new friends and made my community a better place. I am very glad that I chose to take part. (Nick)   What a wonderful project, with so many great ideas – we loved the penny mile where the students initially turned £10 into pennies and lined them up along the Richmond marketplace pavement. People walking by gave them change that they took to the bank, changed it into pennies to add reach the mile and in doing so raised over £200.    Well done to Nick, Joe and all the other students who supported the community.   A final note from alumna Lucy Lundberg who worked as an NCS leader and said: “The NCS program is a great way to spend the summer holidays a little differently, with each phase holding new challenges which young people are supported through, culminating with a team community project, planned and led by themselves. Throughout the three weeks I saw young people gain independence, learn new skills and, most rewarding of all, grow in confidence.”

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