Services for Young People Hertfordshire Services for Young People

Over 200 young people from Hertfordshire make lifelong memories on Services for Young People’s National Citizen Service summer programmes

26 August 2022

NCS provides young people aged 16-17 with the opportunity to learn valuable life skills, take part in challenging activities and work with other young people to make a difference in their communities during the school holidays.

NCS 2022

The two-week Services for Young People (SfYP) summer programmes included a four-night residential stay at the University of Bedfordshire to give the young people a taste of student life while taking part in workshops, including first aid, CPR and how to use a defibrillator.

This was followed by two days of teambuilding at Box End Park, Bedford, including activities such as archery, orienteering, paddleboarding and aqua park challenges. The activities were all designed to develop communication and leadership skills, with the young people encouraging each other to push themselves out of their comfort zones.

The second week was based at one of SfYP’s young people’s centres devising social action projects and working in teams to make them happen. Each group of around 15 young people chose a charity that they felt passionate about supporting and then set about raising both money and awareness in creative ways.

NCS summer group

Giving feedback after their experiences, some of the young people who took part said:

“NCS was an amazingly awesome experience due to the range of activities we did as a group.”

“On NCS each day is like its own adventure.”

“NCS is a place where you make new memories with new people, and you can do activities that you wouldn’t normally get to do… and come out of your comfort zone.”

“I’ve learnt how to become a leader and make sure everyone is involved with everything and no-one is left out. This also taught me how to take control of a situation if others won’t and make sure everything gets done when it needs to but to a good quality.”

Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, Cllr Fiona Thomson, said:

“You can see from their incredibly positive feedback how much the young people gain from taking part in NCS with Services for Young People. They achieved so much for their chosen charities and developed lifelong skills and memories in the space of two weeks. The experience will have a lasting impact on their lives and give them more confidence to successfully navigate their future.”

For the charity task in the second week, one group chose to support Open Door, an organisation that supports people at risk of sleeping rough. The young people decided to ‘sleep out’ to experience what it feels like to be homeless.

They built shelters out of recycled cardboard boxes and slept outside for one night. They also set themselves the challenge of buying dinner for £1 and documented this on social media to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by homeless people.

Another group chose Rennie Grove Hospice Care as their charity and volunteered at Grove House in St Albans, working in the garden, weeding, cutting back plants and creating bouquets of lavender to give to the residents.

Among the other charities supported were the OLLIE Foundation, Herts Young Homeless, Youth Talk and Barnardo’s. The groups baked cakes to sell at St Albans Market and supported their fundraising with social media campaigns and using sites such as ‘GoFundMe’.

The young people were really proud of their achievements and plan to continue volunteering, fundraising and spreading awareness of their charities.

SfYP is now taking bookings for the autumn 2022 programme which is taking place during the October half term. Find out more and sign up here:

Services for Young People’s autumn 2022 NCS programme