St Mary’s Year 11 students are inspired by National Citizen Service workshops

The chance to learn about a potentially life-changing youth programme was welcomed when a representative from the National Citizen Service (NCS) visited Year 11 students at St Mary’s School, Colchester.

Seth Everard, a representative of NCS who completed the initiative himself as a teenager, delivered presentations and interactive workshops on 20th January. The aim being to educate students about the programme, these inspirational sessions included a wealth of information about the initiative and its benefits, as well as some group work to encourage students to think as part of a team.

Launched in 2011, NCS is a youth empowerment initiative open to 16-17 year olds that aims to build young people’s skills and confidence whilst facing new adventures and challenges, making friends along the way. There are three phases of the project: Adventure, Skills and Making a Difference. Upon completion, teenagers have a graduation party and receive a letter signed by the Prime Minister.

NCS aims to give teenagers the opportunity to gain valuable life skills such a leadership, communication and confidence, whilst gaining the freedom and independence of staying away from home,” said Seth. “Ultimately NCS is a launch pad for their future! Opening up a world of opportunities and giving them a head start in life.”

“The workshop was about engaging with them and opening their mind to this idea. My goal is to encourage them to say ‘yes’ to their future and take up the opportunity to advance themselves.”

Following the workshop, St Mary’s student, Jasmine Baker-Wells of Holland-on-Sea, was inspired to sign-up to the NCS programme and is excited to get started. “I knew before the visit that I was interested in taking part as my cousin participated and enjoyed the experience, but the presentation really inspired me to sign up,” said Jasmine.

She is particularly looking forward to the adventure phase and the volunteering aspect of the initiative. Jasmine currently volunteers in a charity shop that supports vulnerable children but feels passionate about having support from the NCS programme to raise money and run a project of her own

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