Saturday, 30 August 2014

NCS Part 2

Hello!! I do apologise for the lack of a post last week, I've actually just got back from holiday with my family in Bournemouth. Because of this I was unable to get a post up however you're in luck this week...two posts!!

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.

Sabesan Girls!
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

Saturday, 16 August 2014

NCS Part 1

Last week I mentioned that I have been involved in something very exciting throughout the last couple of weeks. That something is actually NCS.
For those of you that don't know, (I feel like I use this saying WAY too much!) NCS stands for National Citizen Service. NCS teams up with different charities across the country to give young people aged 15-17 new opportunities and experiences while benefiting their local community. In my case, NCS was powered by The Challenge. Here's how my programme has worked so far...

The programme is split into three weeks, of which I have completed two so far. Throughout the three weeks you are split into teams of roughly 12, with an adult mentor. In week one all of the groups met and we talked for a little bit before jumping on a 5 hour coach journey to north Devon. Here we stayed in PGL style accommodation. After a rather awkward start, our team quickly bonded once we were thrown into activities such as kayaking, tunnelling, an assault course, rock climbing, high ropes and of course a 6 hour hike!
The aim of the first week was for us to get to know each other really well, (check!) and to challenge ourselves (check!). I personally found the tunnelling to be the biggest challenge. It involved crawling through narrow, pitch black tunnels when you had no clue where you were going. I was extremely proud of myself and the rest of my team for getting through, and we all worked amazingly together!
Unfortunately because the week was so fast paced I didn't actually take many pictures that I can share. But don't fret because week two was jam packed full of photography!

Week two was also residential, however this time we stayed in nearby university accommodation. You have no idea how much fun I had! Sitting alone in my bedroom right now I only just realise how much I enjoyed living with my girlies!!!

Sabesan Say What?!

We made our little flat home, topped off with fairy lights thanks to Juliet ;) Juliet also took responsibility to draw up a rota for cooking/washing up so our week thankfully ran very smoothly.

Some of our meals included spag bol, mac and cheese, chow mein and our favourite...PIZZA NIGHT!! And the dream team, Emma and Rashmi, also whipped up some pancakes.

Each night in both weeks we had a big 'wave' session and smaller team evening sessions. In one of our evening sessions the girls arranged face masks for everyone, as you can see the boys luuurved it! These sessions were actually really good fun as they were a good mix of games and DMC's. I could tell you so much more about our fun and banter, but some things have to be kept private ;)

When we signed up to the programme, we had to select skills that we'd like to take part in. Our team was the photography group. Our practitioner Paul was amazing. He had so much experience and you could tell that he was passionate about what he was teaching.

He did light painting with us as well as sun prints. And of course we learnt how to take better and more interesting pictures, so hopefully my blog pictures will improve in the near future!! We took hundreds of pictures but I've only included a few here...

Light Painting

As well as learning our skill we went on a community visit to incorporate our photography. Our team visited an elderly care home with patients suffering from various degrees of dementia. I personally really struggled with this. Fortunately I've never known anyone close to me with dementia, therefore I was extremely apprehensive about the visit. I got through the visit and did enjoy talking to the residents but I did get emotional. My team were all really supportive and I felt much more confident when we returned the following day. We even sang to the residents, and you could see just how much they appreciated us spending time with them.
Right now I'm home from the weekend and missing my team already. It's weird to think I've only known most of them for two weeks and we're already like a family, we've actually drawn up a family tree!! Anyway next week we are working together to create a campaign to benefit our community, so expect to hear more in my next post!
Thanks for reading xxx

Saturday, 9 August 2014

This or That Tag

The very lovely Ellie Gracious tagged me to do the This or That Tag! Make sure you have a read of her blog, it's fab! Anyway straight onto the questions!


Blusher or bronzer?
Lipgloss or lipstick?
Eyeliner or mascara?
Foundation or concealer?
Neutral or colour eye shadow?
Pressed or loose eye shadow?
Brushes or sponges?


OPI or China Glaze?
OPI, I've never actually tried a China Glaze polish.
Long or short?
Long if I can grow them! My nails aren't very strong :(
Acrylic or natural?
Bright or darks?
I tend to go through phases, but at the moment it definitely has to be bright.


Perfume or body splash?
Body splash
Lotion or body butter?
Body butter
Body wash or soap?
Body wash
Lush or any other bath company?



Jeans or sweat pants?
Long sleeve or short?
Short sleeve
Stripes or plaid?
Flip flops of sandals?
Scarves or hats?
Studs or dangly earrings?
Necklaces or bracelets?
Bracelets, but I wear both most of the time.
Heels or flats?
Flats, but being so short I often need a good heel!!
Cowboy boots or riding boots?
Riding boots
Jacket or hoodie?
Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe?
Forever 21
Abercrombie or Hollister?



Curly or straight?
I have naturally curly hair, but I almost always have it straightened sooo... straight!
Bun or ponytail?
Bobby pins or butterfly clips?
Bobby pins
Hair spray or gel?
Hair spray
Long or short?
Light or dark?
Side sweep bangs or full bangs?
Side sweep
Up or down?


Rain or shine?
Summer or winter?
Autumn or spring?
Chocolate or vanilla?
East or west coast?
I must agree with Ellie on this one, South coast of England!
This tag was really fun to do! I tag Paragon Daisies and AlainaTBF to do this as well as anyone reading who wants to give it a go!

This is a little different to my normal posts. I've been up to something really exciting this week that is continuing for the next couple of weeks, meaning I haven't been able to get a post about it ready for today!! Hopefully you'll here more in my next post ;)

Thanks for reading xx

Saturday, 2 August 2014

London Scavenger Hunt

Tomorrow is one of my oldest and best friend's, Hannah, 16th birthday. Because of this my friend Molly and I decided we'd surprise her with a trip out! After a lot umming and erring we came up with a scavenger hunt around London. We don't live far out of London so it was fairly easy to arrange but so much fun! Unfortunately Molly wasn't very well so it was left up to me to escort Hannah on her challenge!

I handed her a list of 16 things she had to find when we arrived at the station- 16 things for her 16th birthday ;) The list consisted of...
  • Big Ben
  • Buckingham Palace
  • Trafalgar Square
  • Pineapple Dance Studios
  • Selfridges
  • Hyde Park
  • The Science Museum
  • A Pigeon
  • A Black Cab
  • A Street Performer
  • A Boris Bike
  • I Heart London
  • Rowers on the Thames
  • A Red Post box
  • Keep Calm and Carry On
  • Lunch :)
First stop was Big Ben. It was quite an easy start, as you can't really miss it and we'd both visited here many times before!

Next up was Buckingham Palace...
Then we headed to Trafalgar Square. We weren't aware that the Eid Festival was happening today in Trafalgar so that was really exciting! However we had lots to see so we didn't get a chance to look around but I would have loved to.

We were struggling to make our way through Covent Garden to reach Pineapple dance studios so we stooped off in Costa for some lunch. While we ate we regrouped to work out where we needed to head to find Pineapple.

Once we opted against the tube to reach Oxford street, we discovered it was a longer walk than expected! On Oxford Street we popped in and out of shops and stopped for an ice cream before locating Selfridges.
We took the tube to Hyde Park, where we walked around and sat down at the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. I'd never been before and it was gorgeous! It's so simple but everyone is able to enjoy it. There were children playing in the water while couples and families were enjoying picnics. I definitely plan to return!

Our final stop was The Science Museum. Again we didn't get to spend as much time as we'd like to have done here so we plan to go again for an afternoon perhaps.
Hannah successfully found everything apart from the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' (we also cheated for the rowers on the Thames!). We had great fun despite missing Molly :( We've agreed to go back to almost every place again separately so we can spend longer looking and enjoying. I'll be honest, today we've really improved our map reading skills once deciding Google maps, frustratingly, are not accurate enough!!
I'd like to finish by saying a big happy birthday to Hannah for tomorrow!! I'm now going to put my very tired feet to bed :)