Forty-five Public Service and Football Academy students at Lancaster & Morecambe College, who completed their National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, attended a graduation ceremony this week to receive their certificates, signed by the Prime Minister.
Students shared stories of their experience, including the team work, leadership & communication skills they had developed throughout the programme, as well as personal reflections on gaining confidence and mixing with new people.
Victoria Carter, Engagement Manager at the College said
“NCS is an experience which helps enhance the students’ personal and social development. They have each gained so much from the programme, particularly when it comes to developing independence and employability skills. We believe that young people can make a positive difference in our community and we are proud of the hard work and determination all the students have shown. We look forward to continuing to work with Inspira and NCS and to encouraging more of our students to take part in this fantastic experience”
NCS is a national programme, delivered by Inspira, and focuses upon developing skills which young people (aged 16-17) will need as they move on into further education, training and employment. The teams take part in a number of challenging activities, designed to push them out of their comfort zone, develop new skills and build confidence.
The ‘Adventure’ phase involved a four-day residential visit to Kepplewray Activity Centre, where students participated in activities such as kayaking, abseiling & mountain walks. These were designed to test the students’ physical and mental abilities, pushing them out of their comfort zones and helping them develop communication and leadership skills.
The ‘Discovery’ phase focused on the students finding out about issues in their local community, and how they can have a positive impact as young citizens. They took part in workshops & sessions with local & national charities, including St John's Hospice, British Red Cross and Cancer Care. They also learned about project planning and community cohesion and developed a range of crucial skills relevant to transition from college, into Higher Education and employment. The activities enabled students to explore and discuss community issues, local initiatives and interventions in place to tackle these issues.
For the ‘Action’ phase of the programme, the teams had to plan their own community project. The students chose to raise awareness of the Morecambe Bay Foodbank, and they held collections within the college. This was a project organised and managed independently by the students which gave them a great opportunity to develop and showcase the personal and social skills they have developed throughout the project.
Football Studies tutor, David Scambler, said
“We have taken part in NCS for a number of years and find it really useful as part of the students’ induction programme. It helps them to bond and learn to work together, developing crucial skills which transfer well into their vocational activities.”
For more information on NCS, go to the website here