I did NCS a year ago now and it was undoubtedly a turning point in my life. NCS didn’t just give me an unforgettable summer of amazing experiences but it also allowed me to develop as a person and see beyond what I could previously see.
Originally I didn't want to do NCS as whispers were spread of it being ‘rubbish’ and a ‘waste of time’ and instead of ignoring them and making up my own mind, I believed them. Although I knew of people going and that the rumours were most likely fake I just wouldn’t budge on the idea.
It wasn’t until my friends came back from Wave One did I realise what I was missing out on. They had the most amazing time, meeting new people and gaining new and exciting experiences. Although they are not ‘outdoorsy’ people typically, they still said that week one was amazing because they had so much fun as a team. It was at that point I realised what I was missing out on and that I had been silly to listen to such things. I then went straight to my area coordinator and asked if there were any spaces left available. To my luck there was and that for me was my YES moment.
NCS has given me the opportunity to gain experience by being in a team with people with different personalities and that developed my personal skills. My NCS experience didn’t end at the end of the four weeks though, nope I carried on and went to Kickstart and then on to becoming a regional youth board member.
Since then I have gained so many friends from all over the country and have had the opportunity to hear different stories and discover more about myself and the society we live in.
More about Kickstart
Kickstart is a residential that happens over four days. It's where you meet your regional youth board and other people from all over the country. It’s very intense, but you take in so much, you get to hear from lots of inspirational people and do lots of amazing and fun workshops. Some of my friends did a DJ workshop meanwhile I did tea party politics which I thought was pretty awesome.
The regional youth board is what leads on from kickstart so when you put your practice into play if you will. You will have 4 meetings throughout the year where you will discuss what is going on in your area and have the opportunity to make change in your areas.
Taking me out of my comfort zone
I really wanted to apply for the youth board because it would allow me to carry on my NCS journey. When I found out I was accepted and was going to Kickstart I was over the moon, although I was also nervous as I was on my own, it wasn't taking place in my home town and I would have to travel a fair bit by myself.
It was a whole new level for me although I was nervous I knew it would put me to the test to see if I could go through with it and stand on my own two feet. Since then I have found I have become a much more outgoing person, and that the only thing that could stand in front of me and my dreams would be my own insecurities.
This new-found confidence and maturity has helped me lead my team to the Cumbria finals in Young Enterprise and to say yes to more opportunities. It has also made me a more compassionate and understanding person as I have had the opportunity to listen to different people and their stories and the lives they have lived; it has helped me understand the different lives people live. But most of all it has made me more resilient and ambitious as it has shown me that no matter what as long as I put the work in and if I want something enough I can do it no matter how many times I am knocked down.
I have since had the opportunity to apply to the Leaders program. The Leaders program is a program run in summer for NCS Grads who have been on the Regional Youth Board. The program then leads on to the National Youth Board. I have recently been accepted onto the program and I am extremely excited to be a part of it. This is a huge opportunity for me and hopefully I can also inspire others to carry on the NCS journey after summer to experience the same things I did. NCS is just the beginning of all the possibilities that are out there.