Sunday, 26 July 2015

The NCS Program - Week 4

1.Why? 2.What? 3.How? I can’t believe it has finished! If you haven’t been reading this past months posts then you won’t know but… on Friday, it was my last day on the NCS program. This week involved us actually doing out social action project. My team decided that we were going to be hosting an arts and craft session, a coffee morning, a sponsored leg wax and creating a memorial garden for our charity, Sands.

On Monday, we started on the garden and had to pull out all of the wild flowers that were already there so that we could create our garden. We had a visitor come to us and he gave us t-shirts and sunglasses with the NCS logo on.

On Tuesday, we spent a whole day preparing the garden and getting all of the old grass out so that we could line it and prevent the wild flowers and weeds destroying the garden. I think everyone would agree that it took longer than expected and were all really tired by the time we had finished.

Wednesday was the day of our arts and craft session. I think I speak on behalf of us all that we were disappointed by the turn out as only 1 child came and there was all 19 of who turned up. Half of us went back to the college so that we could get something done rather than sit around doing nothing.

Our coffee morning was on Thursday and we had a fairly good turn out due to there being family and staff being in the college as well as students and other people on the NCS program who had come back to college for the day. There was a raffle, guess the name of the bear, drinks stand and then the leg waxing taking place by the lads who had kindly volunteered to have this done in order to raise a little more money for Sands.

By the time Friday had come, everyone was feeling really tired due to a busy week we had already had and the thought of having to complete the garden ready for Sam, the women who was coming in to take photos of our nearly finished garden, interview a few of us (yes, one of them was me so you may see me on their advertising), and write up a case about out project. It was a mad rush in the morning so that it was all done ready for her. We are just waiting for the bench to be built, a plaque to go in a say what the garden is about and for the grass to grow and then it's all done.

From going to someone who didn't know anyone at all in all of the groups to have a little family that we have become, it is really surprising how close you become with each other (including the team leader and mentor) which makes the whole ‘goodbye’ part so much harder. I can’t recommend doing this enough. I really didn't want to do it by myself but I can honestly say, it is the best way as you are forced to talk to people and make friends with them which helps you to develop your confidence and can help you the whole way through life wether thats going to college, uni, a new job or simply going somewhere and having to talk to someone. 

I hope this has been interesting and something a little different to usual as you've followed me along this and that you've enjoyed hearing what I’ve been busy doing.

Would you now consider doing NCS or something similar after reading this?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed

Chloe x

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The NCS Program - Week 3

I must admit, I can’t believe I have already completed 3 weeks of the course and this is my final week with my group! It’s going to be really strange not seeing them everyday and asking what they’ve been doing at the weekend.
Anyway… enough of the soppy stuff!

I have to admit, this week I think has been the most challenging out of the others. In week 3, it all about planning your social action project. As a group, we decided on the charity Sands and decided that all of the money we raise will be going to them. Sands is a charity which helps anything who has suffered from a stillbirth or neonatal death. They have a link with butterflies as they aren't alive for long but they are beautiful whilst they are; the same with the babies.

This has required us to come closer together and become a lot more dependant on each other so that we can get everything completed. I’m not going to big it all up and say it’s the best week and we had lots of fun because it wasn't the sort of week. However, I would say that I have developed skills and had the opportunity to practice during it.

The fundraising ideas we have had are a lads sponsored leg wax, an arts and craft session, a coffee morning and a raffle. This has taken a fair amount of organising as you have to consider sponsors and ring certain businesses who you may think want to be a part of this project but many will turn down you down or ask for either a letter/email to be sent which takes longer as you have to write it all out and then send it them as proof that it is all for charity.

For the coffee morning we decided that we were going to make things to sell. A couple of the girls in my group went round the college asking is they would like to donate anything and came back with bath bombs and other random items. A few of us made us little bath bomb bags and kept the others as they were. There was also going to be a ‘Guess the name of the bear’ taking place on the day so I decided to make the sign.

Have you ever had to plan a charity fundraising event or something similar?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed

Chloe x

Sunday, 12 July 2015

The NCS Program - Week 2

If you read last weeks post, you will know that I currently on the NCS program. I have just completed the 2nd week which involved me boarding at Trent College with my group. 

We met a series of different people from different charities in the local area to help with our social action project next week. The different charities included people from a homeless shelter, a hospice and someone talking  Furthermore, we had a police officer come to talk about areas of concern in the area that we could try and reduce with our project.

This week was very different to last week as we were in separate rooms but still all together and ended up going in each others room or in the common room if we wanted to be together. On the first night, we all decided to have a pamper night and even the team leaders decided to join us! However, now that we have finished living away for the past couple of weeks, I can safely say that I am going to miss the girls and our chats though the tent dividers and bedroom doors down across the hallway. 

There were different activities that we had to do as part of a team which consisted of a quiz, robot wars, zombie run and rocket launching. Obviously team 4 (my team) won them all!

On the last day, we had to build a rocket which would later be tested during the evening activity. I was chosen as team leader so I had to direct the group into their specific roles and ensure the task was completed successfully. My team managed to get our rocket the highest but didn't manage to protect the egg... oops!

I’m looking forward to next week although it will be very different to what I have experienced so far as I won’t be staying with my group due to the fact we are having to meet at West Notts College each day to plan the project.

Have you taken part in the program before or considered joining?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed

Chloe x

Sunday, 5 July 2015

The NCS Program - Week 1

On Monday morning (29th June) I started the NCS program for young people aged 16-17 years old. I was really nervous to start as I was doing it by myself and I was just praying that I'd meet someone.

When we arrived we were faced with a massive hill which was a killer (and everyone who was there would agree!). We were camping in a field with all 7 teams being together and sharing with the instructors. The bed was more like a lack off as we were giving a foam camping mat which wasn't comfy in the slightest. We were all suffering from bad backs combined with a lack of sleep which only lead to the tough morning wake up and feeling very tired as the week went on. I was sharing a tent with 4 other girls and there was never a dull moment throughout the week so it made the whole week a real laugh and helped us all to keep going.

The whole week was based around team building activities to help with getting to know the people in my team and make new friends. The activities included canoeing, raft building, a walk with map reading, high and low ropes as well as team activities.

I will be on the course for the next 3 weeks with the same people and I will be gutted when it finishes but I am really looking forward to being with the team and developing skills along the way.

Have you ever taken part in a course like this or something similar?

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed

Chloe x