Case study: The power of social action with The Challenge – from London to Morocco
If you have ever wondered about the ‘reach’ of our programme delivery, here is a great example of how a new-found passion for volunteering has now benefited people thousands of miles away.
Here is the story of Sylvia, a London-based NCS participant who graduated in September 2017. Having seen just how powerful her contribution to society can be, Sylvia joined the youth board and has springboarded from this to seize other new opportunities. She recently returned from a small village in Morocco, far from the comforts of home, and shares details of how her time with the team from The Challenge has encouraged her to become more involved in social action.
NCS opened many opportunities for me by making me more confident, particularly as a leader.
Having signed up for the NCS graduate programme, I had the difficult yet rewarding job of leading the Camden, Westminster and Islington youth board. This amazing experience taught me how to budget, fundraise and promote an event, as well as how to bring together a group.
We raised £160 from local businesses to help run an event at the Camden Hive, to raise awareness of youth mental health. Over one hundred people attended. Asking for these contributions was initially difficult for me, but I gained my confidence.
Organising my youth board also inspired me to run for Deputy Head Girl at my school – this will allow me to perfect running a successful charity event.
For our NCS volunteer week, we helped at an elderly home. This prepared me to assist for the past year in a mosaic club for pensioners.
Other NCS-led volunteer jobs were at the Women’s Environmental Network, Sayers Croft Foster Camp, Heath Hands and the Cricklewood Homeless Shelter.
Best of all was a month in Taroudant with the Moroccan Children’s Trust. A small, truly well-run charity that supports vulnerable families with children. I loved my time in Morocco!
It really did feel like my home for the month and I was sad to leave. Everyone was so welcoming, even the children who are in terrible situations were so friendly. Zayna was so warm and such a great cook plus she gave the best hugs, I have learnt to steam my couscous at home now and I am going to try and make my own Msemmen.
Essentially I have found volunteering so meaningful that I don’t want to go on family holidays anymore.
If you know someone like Sylvia, aged 15-17, who could benefit from National Citizen Service, find out everything you need to know here and find out about our other programmes.