Young people from St Albans demonstrate their community spirit during their summer holidays

09 August 2019

Creating a healthy eating recipe book for families, raising money for a local foodbank, an arts and craft day for elderly residents and environmental work were just some of the social action projects undertaken by the 70 young people from St Albans and the surrounding areas who recently completed the National Citizen Service programme with YC Hertfordshire this summer.

One group worked at Jubilee House community centre to complete jobs and support isolated members of the community including a guide on how to use a tablet.

Another group chose to support Grace Muriel House, supporting the elderly residents with activities. They also set up an arts and crafts day Another produced several short podcasts promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles and a recipe book for Home Start can be found at http://www.tastytips.wixsite.com/ncyes.

Another group took part in a fancy dress sponsored walk to raise money for The Vineyard Church foodbank. They raised £489 and bought food and clothing items that the foodbank desperately needed, they also volunteered their time in the foodbank, making up emergency packages and helping out in the shop.

They also found time to raise awareness for the Oli Mills Foundation for teenage cancer so they created a canvas with public support which was then donated to the foundation

Liv, aged 16, said: “I am excited to see how our project helps the community and I’m proud we have produced something that will be useful beyond our NCS experience.”

Suzy from Home Start said: “It’s been great to come and meet the group and see the amazing work they have done. “Everyone was very enthusiastic and shared a real passion for what Home Start does.”

The final group worked with Earthworks and spent their time clearing bridal paths, painting fences, watering the allotments and supporting with general maintenance in the grounds. The group also produced a short video asking members of the public what community means to them and how they would like to see their community improved.

The group completed a residential week at in Staffordshire, followed by a week at the University of Hertfordshire in Hatfield.

During these two weeks, the young people took part in team building exercise and learnt key skills including communication and listening skills, leadership, negotiation, and decision-making.

All young people also gained a qualification in first aid, attended sessions on sexual health awareness and mental health awareness and started to think about what community means to them.

In total, around 600 16- and 17-year-olds are set to complete NCS with YC Hertfordshire this summer, equipping them with the vital skills and confidence needed as they approach adulthood.

More information about NCS with YC Hertfordshire