18 young people from the South Gloucestershire area recently took part in the National Citizen Service and gained skills for life. The young people spent four days at South Cerney Outdoor, part of the Prospects Group, taking part in activities they had not tried before such as sailing, stand up paddle boarding and wind surfing. With the help of experienced instructors the young people pushed themselves and stepped out of their comfort zones. In the process they developed friendships and learnt skills like teamwork, communication and leadership.

The group of young people then spent three days learning new life skills to help prepare them for their futures. They took part in workshops on interview skills, public speaking, money management, project management and marketing. The young people then split in to two groups and had the opportunity to put everything they had learnt into action by designing and executing projects to benefit local communities.

One group raised £527 by doing a bag pack in Tesco Extra in Yate and through a sponsored fun run and flash mob in and around Cabots Circus shopping centre in Bristol and donated the money to the Wild Goose Cafe in Bristol, which provides free food for the homeless and hungry as well as encouragement, support and advice along with signposting for service users. The group also spent a day at the Wild Goose Cafe volunteering in the kitchens preparing breakfast and lunch for the service users.

The other group spent two days at the M-Shed in Bristol running Happiness Days. The idea was to make people smile and spread happiness. They gave out sweets and chocolates, played instruments, sang and danced. There were games for children to play as well as arts and crafts activities.

Hassan Adam, National Citizenship Service Programme Manager of South Cerney, said:

“The National Citizenship Service is a great way for young people to try new things, develop skills which will last a lifetime and have fun in the process. It is great to see young people achieve so much in such a short space of time. Many grow in confidence and leave feeling better equipped to face the world, especially life after school.”

One participant, Igor, said:

“The National Citizen Service has significantly boosted my confidence and independence. It helped me to discover my hidden talents and it is definitely a great programme to try new things, learn new skills, meet new people and make lots of friends.”

Another participant, Jake, said:

“It’s an amazing experience that brings together a group of strangers and turns them into a group of close friends.”

South Cerney Outdoor has places available for its summer programme. Book your place now at www.ncswest.co.uk