A group of young people on NCS in North Cumbria have raised money for First Friends Nursery, Belle Vue, Carlisle by holding a coffee morning and fun day on the 24th of July.

The team consists of ten 15-16-year olds from Carlisle who wanted to give back to their community and as the organisation is close to one of the team members hearts, their decision was made.

Erin Walsh, one of the members of the team said, “We wanted to make a change towards the nursery by raising money to make an impact on the nursery facilities.”

Katie Hanlon, NCS team leader said, “The staff at First Friends Nursery were very welcoming and extremely thankful towards the NCS group choosing them for their social action.”

The group who are participating in the National Citizen Service programme, which is delivered by Inspira across Cumbria and Lancashire also raised awareness for Mind at the coffee morning and have been helping at Garden Life, Buchanan Road in Currock, Carlisle.

Garden Life work with many different types of people of all ages who want to have a go at gardening or want to increase their skills, relax for mental health reasons or just for fun, including young people from the Young Offenders Service and a local specialist school. Over the course of the year the charity does a variety of season projects, from small construction works using recycled and up-cycled materials, to straightforward gardening, garden maintenance and the growing of fresh organic produce which they donate in largely to food bank and local schools.

The group raised £139 for the nursery.

While on NCS, a four-week programme over the summer, with a condensed course run in Autumn, the young people have spent a week at Outward Bound, a week experiencing independent living on a university campus, a week getting involved with their local community and planning their social action and the final week delivering their project.

"NCS is a national programme and is designed to create greater social cohesion, social mobility, and social engagement," said Dave Todd, contract manager at Inspira. "It also helps young people develop their self-confidence, leadership and teamwork skills and to overcome fears and barriers - all of which will help them full fill their potential in life and work.The charities these young people have been involved with illustrates social engagement and cohesion so well."