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

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