Baroness Barran visits NCS
We were pleased to welcome Baroness Barran, Minister for Civil Society and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to visit young people taking part in our delivery of National Citizen Service in South West England.
She visited a team of teenagers in Bath who were completing their social action projects at the end of their time with NCS and heard about how they’ve been helping their local community. The young participants had decided to run their social action projects in support of local charity Genesis Trust which supports homeless and vulnerable people in Bath.
They created leaflets to advertise a clothes donation point they were operating and ventured into the streets of Bath to rally people to donate warm clothes for the winter and also food. They also managed to secure a large donation of food from a local Millets store. They then placed the donated items in gift-wrapped boxes which they decorated and inserted notes with handwritten notes for Genesis Trust to distribute.
The Baroness spent some time talking to the young people about her new job and explained how her favourite part of her role was her responsibility for Civil Society. She praised the programme as being good for supporting young people to develop important skills for the future.
The young people had started their NCS adventure at the start of August, spending a week in Brecon Beacons, where they had completed exciting activities including gorge walking, rock climbing, kayaking and camp fires and games in the evenings.
They then got together at Grittleton House in Chippenham where they were guided through developing important skills, including budgeting, planning, team work and public speaking. They also spent a day in Bath mapping community projects and understanding local priorities. The week ended with a Dragon’s Den pitch where they presented their social project ideas and received feedback and support with their initiatives.
The young people spoke with the Baroness about how the programme had had a positive effect on them. Nathalia, said:
“It was a real challenge for me to jump off the cliff during the gorge walk as I was both scared of heights and can’t swim but I did both so I really surprised myself! I also really enjoyed the people I met and I even felt at home after one week. The best thing about NCS for me is all the different people I met and making friends which I wouldn’t have done otherwise.”
Another participant, Charlotte, talked about how they worked effectively in teams. She said there were a lot of fun activities during the first week to break the ice and that she would definitely keep in touch with the friends she made there.
Henry said he had joined NCS to boost his CV as he transitions out of education but felt like he had achieved even more than that: “It has been great to work with Genesis Trust. I feel like we have been able to do something really meaningful with our summer holidays.”
Minister for Civil Society Baroness Barran said: “It was great to see how the National Citizen Service brings young people together and gives them an opportunity to make friends, grow their confidence and develop new skills.
“I especially enjoyed meeting some of the participants to hear how they are making a real difference in their community by supporting homeless and vulnerable people in Bath.”
NCS is a life-changing programme open to all teenagers aged 15-17 to discover who they are and what they can do. You can find out more about it at ncsyes.co.uk