Our Sixth Formers have been offered the opportunity to sign up for the National Citizenship Service, a four-week programme combines two residentials with a team project to make a positive difference in the local community. The scheme is rounded off with a graduation ceremony and, since its launch, more than 100,000 young people from across the country have taken part.
The first phase is an adventure residential for four days of fun, team-building and problem-solving. This is followed by a residential at Nottingham University where students will learn new life skills and also have presentations from local charities and businesses so they can start thinking about their voluntary project.
The final phase is to plan and deliver a project that makes a positive change in the local area. The next cohort for Northants students starts on Monday 3 August and applications can be submitted as soon as possible. The scheme is open for students aged from 15 to 17 years and there is a nominal £35 charge. Many put it on their university personal statements or CVs as it shows a demonstrable range of skills and experience.
Hazel Beckett and Chloe Panayi who deliver the local programme gave a presentation to our Year 12 students. Chloe said: ‘The young people work in teams of 15 and we have had groups doing sleep outs to raise awareness of homelessness or else cake sales and litterpicks so they decide what they want to do. They have to do 30 hours on their team project but they can choose how they do it and depending on what their project is they have to sort out the venues and organisation. They can design it around what they enjoy, sometimes they are quite Performing Arts led so they come up with something theatrical, others focus on the environment, so they can use what they love and what they have a passion for. It is about overcoming barriers and building their confidence.’
Hazel added: ‘This programme is an incredible opportunity for young people to meet a really diverse group and build skills. This is a fun programme to give them experience and take those next steps with a bit more confidence. It is about connecting them with their local community so in the week we are in Nottingham local organisations and charities will come and talk to young people about what they do. It is a more holistic approach to life and once they are fully informed they design their own project with support but essentially it is led by them. The feedback is really positive and there are lots of videos online about how amazing joining the scheme can be.’