Bethany Guest was a young person on our NCS programme in 2016. She then went on to work on the programme in summer 2017 as a Team Mentor. Check out part two of her amazing story below!
Since NCS, I have gained so much confidence and I have done many things to stay involved. I am so thankful for the people that I’ve met along my NCS journey including making new friends and some unforgettable memories. I never thought I would do half the stuff I am doing today. This is why I want to share my journey about life after NCS because it doesn’t end at the graduation, you can get involved in so many different ways as so many doors open post NCS. Here’s a few ideas of what you can get involved in.
Regional Youth Board
Fortunately for me, I had the opportunity to be part of the Regional Youth Board which is the face of social action. This was a great opportunity as I was able to meet a lot of people who wanted to get more involved with more social action. For our Social Action Day we did a few things to raise money for the charity we had chosen, Framework, as we knew that they had lost a lot of funding so offering to help them meant so much to all who were involved.
One team were based in Nottingham and the other team were based in Mansfield. We did a car wash and dance/sing off in the train station for Nottingham and then for Mansfield they did a cake sale. This helped us raise money to take part in the Big Snore Sleep Out. We headed out to Mansfield and began to build our cardboard fort for the night. Throughout the night we had some inspirational talks about people who have been or are currently homeless and how they have battled with it. This really helped us understand that not everyone has a roof over their heads and not everyone is having a bed to sleep in at night. During the night it hit -4 and this also gave us a chance to see what people face on a daily basis. Homelessness is such a big problem in and around Nottingham. People who are homeless are more likely to have or will be suffering with mental health issues and if they have no home, no family to talk to or friends life will is tough due to not having a home or a job.
Some of the Regional Youth Board members and I had the opportunity to go out and help deliver some sessions on what you can do after NCS with our grad manager Charlee Oldham. During our sessions we used Kahoot! which was always a winner with the young people on programme. These on programme sessions helped us with public speaking and getting more confidence with speaking to a bunch of people.
Seasonal Staff Member on Programme
In summer 2017 I went and became a Team Mentor on programme. I went to work on the programme because I wanted to help give back to NCS and to help support other young people. The aim was to let them know about my experience and how I got to where I am today. This was a good way to build my confidence and get an understanding of what it is like from a staff point of view. This was an amazing experience because I worked with so many different people and supported so many young people throughout their NCS journey. In the October half term I worked as a Team Mentor again. Again it was great to get involved with NCS and to see what great things the young people do to make a difference. During the autumn programme, I stepped in as Team Leader for 2-3 days which was a great opportunity for me.
Winning a National Award (Children and Young People’s Now)
In November 2017 myself and a few selected people from the Regional Youth Board were invited down to London for the CYPN Awards (this is because our youth board was shortlisted for the award). WE WON! This was such a great achievement to end the year with and it was so lovely to see everyone so happy and proud. As a team we raised over £1000 and reached over 15,000 people on Twitter and 22,000 on Facebook which was crazy! I am so proud that I got to share this moment with not just my friends but my NCS family who all mean so much and have such a positive impact on my life.
I am now on the NCS Alumni board. This means that I get to go to meetings and meet the new 2018 Regional Youth Board team. This makes me happy because I love seeing people making a difference and to be part of supporting them is great. This year I plan on attended all the meetings and hopefully aim to go to this year’s Action Day to make more of a difference.
So as I am writing this part of the blog post I am doing some work in the Elevation Networks office in Nottingham (due to start some work in the Ingeus office). This is doing wonders for my confidence as it helps me build up my skills with admin and working in an office environment. I am going to be doing things such as writing blog posts and finding alternative ways in getting young people to stay involved with NCS. This also means I get to see what goes on pre-programme – how exciting!
NCS really changed my life. Now I want it to do the same for others. I want to inspire other young people to sign up to NCS or even share their experience like I’m doing now. The programme as a whole changed me into a completely different person. I have a different mindset in life and now I can do things I never thought I would be able to do. NCS helped me become who I am today. I want to reach out to those who are maybe too scared to go on the programme or who are unsure about it as it can be scary to step out of your comfort zone and do new things. I’ve been in those shoes and so glad that I took that first step out of them. I said yes to NCS, will you do the same?
We are extremely proud of how much Beth has achieved! From being a young person on the programme to working on the programme as a Team Mentor and accomplishing so much more. It’s great to see how passionate Beth is about helping young people make a difference through NCS!
Written by Bethany Guest
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Elevation Networks.