Thursday, 24 July 2014

Life as an NCS participant, by Elecia Lambert

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It all started on an average school day. The NCS team came to my school to do a presentation about the programme. I later phoned my parents pleading to go, and luckily they agreed! There was lots of anticipation as I counted down to the start of NCS.

Week 1: NCS Personal Challenge

The programme kicked off with a week at an outdoor activity centre in Torquay, Devon.

On the second day, my team took part in a number of activities whilst three of the other teams went on a hike. We completed the hike the following day and it was a great opportunity for the whole team to get to know each other as we talked about our lives and ambitions. It was a week full of laughter, fun and memories which will never leave my heart. The whole week was amazing and I felt as if I had known my team for years.

Week 2: NCS Team Challenge

At the start of week two, I was extremely excited about staying at a university hall of residence (something I’d never done before). I had no idea what to expect. I was sharing a flat with five other girls and we had to cook and clean for ourselves.

The aim of the second week was to learn a new skill (including sports, drama and photography) and use it to engage with a local community organisation. I was in the music team and our challenge was to learn to play a piece of music which originated from Brazil, then run a music session at an elderly care home. The majority of us had never played an instrument, so it was a fantastic experience.

During our visit to the elderly care home, we found out all kinds of amazing stuff about the residents, such as what they did in the war or as a career. We then had the opportunity to dance together, which was absolutely amazing! There was a 96 year old woman named Vera who danced as if she was 16. I also met Dora, who told me about her travels around the world and shared other parts of her life with me.  Dora had chosen to come and meet us as she didn’t know any teenagers and all she had heard was negative information. I’m really glad we met her.

Week 3: NCS Real Challenge Design

The last challenge was to come up with a campaign about an issue we felt strongly about. We chose to focus on body image as this is something that affects many people. Children as young as six are worrying about their appearance and whether they are too fat and people are constantly trying to be perfect, sometimes causing great harm to their body.

Our campaign is called ‘EveryBODY’ and our aim is to raise awareness of the effects of negative body image, helping people to be confident about who they are.

We will carry out the campaign on Sutton high street in September. If you are interested, would like to support us or give us advice, please do get in touch:

Tumblr: everybodyuk.tumblr.com

Twitter: @everyBODYuk

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