Young people have been inspired to get involved with their communities and raise money for charity thanks to Fleetwood Town Community Trust’s National Citizen Service programme.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) programme brings together 16 and 17-year-olds from different backgrounds in a 3-week programme of challenge and learning, enabling them to develop the confidence, skills, and attitudes they need to become more engaged with their communities and to become active and responsible citizens.
The most recent programme has just come to an end, and participants had the chance to spend a week in the Lake District at Tower Wood, where they focussed on teamwork and outdoor physical challenges through activities such as abseiling and archery.
The second phase took place at Myerscough College and focussed on life and work skills, and during the final phase, participants were split into three groups and tasked with designing and delivering a community or charity project.
Charlotte Curwen, aged 16 from Cockerham, was part of a group who organised a colour walk to raise money for local charity Men’s Shed.
“My highlight has been the sailing we did at Tower Wood; it was an amazing experience. I also really enjoyed organising the colour walk – my role was pitching to secure the funding. We chose to arrange a colour walk so we could tie into mental health, pride, LGBT and raise awareness.”
Sixteen-year-old Elliot Dean, from Garstang, enrolled on the programme as he wanted to try new things. He overcame his fear of heights when abseiling at Tower Wood, and he was also involved in organising a 12-hour charity dance-a-thon, raising money for the Samaritans.
“We decided to organise the dance-a-thon as it’s something active that everyone can get involved in. We designed and handed out leaflets to local shops to try and make people aware, and we organised a raffle to raise money.
“The dance-a-thon was feel-good and completely inclusive – we even went to a local care home for an hour and did some ballroom dancing,” added Ros Gornall who was in Elliot’s group.”
The final project was Out of the Darkness, an inclusive walk along the promenade from Lytham St Anne’s Beach to Blackpool Tower and back, which also raised money for Fleetwood charity Men’s Shed.
“I really enjoyed working on the project and I’ve learnt lots of new skills,” said Emma Jennings, aged 16 from Garstang. My highlight was when we gave the money we raised to Men’s Shed.”
And for those considering enrolling on the programme Emma said, “Do it. It’s so much fun and it’s so rewarding. The team leaders are amazing too.”
The Community Trust has been successfully delivering NCS for the last five years and applications are open for the next programme. For more information or to book your place for next year, please contact us here.