Right so today I'm going to finish off talking about NCS, and this post is all about the final week. This week wasn't residential, so we were working in our local area. The aim of week three was to create a campaign that would benefit our community. We'd have to plan a campaign day and pitch this to a Dragon's Den style panel, who'd hopefully give us funding.
On Monday morning we met our community facilitator. He would help our group during the week making sure we completed all of our tasks and had everything we needed. We brainstormed a few ideas for our campaign inspiration, which was painfully difficult! Initially none of us were inspired, but I did learn that in general I really am happy with our local area. In the afternoon we jumped on a train and headed to visit a local charity. The charity we visited offered housing and support to homeless and vulnerable people. We spent an hour in their offices learning about what they do. Suddenly we were inspired. You see I live in quite a well off area, we were hearing about homeless people. We decided that people should be more appreciative of what they have and then the community might be happier. Alongside our campaign day we're also fundraising for the charity.
The following day we planned out the actual campaign now that we had an idea. Our biggest challenge was coming up with a name... There were so many options and ideas, but nothing was right for the campaign. Spread Our Smiles. We're a group of loud, bubbly teenagers that are pretty much always smiling, and we want to make people happier. I think it sums us up :) Once we'd finally picked our name we set up a Facebook account and campaign. The idea is you use the #iappreciate and post something you appreciate, then nominate other people to do the same. Everyone then gets the opportunity to identify something/someone that they appreciate. Mine's below. now at first I was going to say my family but most of my group said their family/friends/various pets, therefore I decided to shale things up a bit and go for chocolate ;)
The next day our pitch was formed, which was particularly stressful! There were so many sections that had to be discussed and included, it had to sound professional but it had to be interesting. In my opinion the hardest thing was making sure all of our thirteen members had something to do/say in our pitch. But we did it! We visited a local business's office where we had a tour, however the main point of the visit was to present a practise pitch. They gave us some tips and advice which we took back and worked with.
The final day was pitch day! The morning was spent practising, perfecting and panicking... In the afternoon the 'Dragons' entered the auditorium, and each team took it in turns to deliver their pitch. We actually went first and I won't lie, it was terrifying. You wouldn't think so because we were stood up in front of our friends with our teams but we all really cared about what we were doing and no one wanted to mess up. Thankfully everything went to plan and we got all the funding we needed!
The pitch was over and so was NCS. The afternoon ended with the whole wave celebrating together! There were plenty of hugs, selfies and see you soons :') Our team said our final goodbyes over a celebratory dinner at Nandos. It was a lovely way to end our three weeks. I honestly can't believe I've known most of them just three weeks, it feels like years! In September we are reunited each weekend before we graduate, so we wont be without each other for long!
The last week of NCS definitely wasn't as fun as the first two but I still really enjoyed it. The main thing is we can actually make a difference in our community and we had one last week to spend together. I would recommend NCS to anyone and everyone who it is applicable to! If get the opportunity to do it don't think twice. it's been an amazing experience that I will never forget, easily the highlight of my summer.
Thanks for reading xxx