It all started with YES! NCS in the local community
Our groups young people on the National Citizen Service (NCS) youth programme have spent their Summer holidays giving back to the community. We have had over 100 young people take part in the NCS with us this Summer and with graduation next week, we wanted to tell you all the amazing things they’ve been up to!
The groups of 16 and 17 year olds spent their final week of the course working together to create their own social action project using the amazing new skills they’d developed on the programme. As well as their community work, they spent a week taking on new challenges like kayaking and rock climbing at an activity centre and a week at Orwell Park School and the Royal Hospital School learning skills for work and life!
Here’s what they got up to in the community…
One group of young people took to the challenge of helping local charitable organisation, The Teapot Project for their Social Action Project. The Teapot Project is the largest award winning food waste interception and reducer in the county providing training and voluntary placements for everyone without prejudice. They intercept perfectly edible food from supermarkets and restaurants that would have otherwise been sent to landfill and makes it accessible to those who need it in Ipswich.
Our group of young people set up a pop-up food stall outside of the University of Suffolk selling intercepted food on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis to the public, with all proceeds going to The Teapot Project’s community work. The team are planning on continuing to volunteer with The Teapot Project which the NCS programme inspired them to start!
Mischa Pearson from The Teapot Project says:
“We have loved having the NCS team from Inspire Suffolk helping us out and spreading the word of what we do. They have been so enthusiastic and hardworking, and we look forward to working with them in the future.”
This particular group of young people worked in collaboration with a small local charity called the Phoebe Project, which works to support women facing domestic abuse and self-esteem groups to young women in Ipswich. The young people worked hard to raise awareness and money for the project to run a trip to Felixstowe for a group of service users. They ran various fundraising and awareness events in Ipswich and have managed to arrange free mini-buses to take the Phoebe service users to Felixstowe later in September.
They have not only worked hard to raise the profile of this local charity, but have made a difference to the lives of the service users of the Phoebe charity.
One group took to the challenge of raising awareness for BEAT, an eating disorder charity. They decided to do a sponsored bike ride around popular parks in Ipswich and then on to Felixstowe to raise more awareness and money for the charity. Along the way they handed out leaflets and raised money with collection buckets with the main aim to make people aware of the charity.
They raised a grand total of £240 through online fundraising and collecting money along the way and there’s still time to sponsor them for their great effort here.
A group of our young people on our second wave held a ‘Helping Hands’ charity event. This involved members of the public painting their hand-print onto a canvas. The project raised both awareness for EACH by word of mouth as well as a bright, colourful and long lasting piece of art that the children in the hospice can enjoy. They also organised a car wash for the public where any donations and money made were donated to the EACH. Great work team!
A group of young people in our second wave felt passionately about setting up a weekly support group for young LGBTQ+ members of society called Together and Allied. Their aim is to raise awareness and challenge prejudices against the community by discussing this in a weekly support group and a ‘Pride Walk’ through the centre of Ipswich. They are running support groups weekly and have been really committed to continuing these weekly!
SSI have been fundraising at various events in Ipswich in order to collect funds to create ‘care packages’ for vulnerable, homeless young people and raise money for charities, including homelessness charity Emmaus. They also hosted a fun day for children at the YMCA to raise money for further events in the future and charities to help homeless local people.
Sophie Mudie, NCS Co-Ordinator at Inspire Suffolk says:
“Our young people have come up with some amazing projects on this Summer’s programme – from charity bike rides to support groups, the young people demonstrated a huge amount of passion and determination of supporting their local community and making a difference. The programme is all about providing opportunities for young people to build their confidence and independence which has definitely been demonstrated by our young people this Summer.”
We run NCS in Suffolk during the Spring, Summer and Autumn school holidays and it costs no more than £50 with bursaries available. Young people and their parents can register their interest today with us here.
Get signed up like 200,000 other young people across the country so far!