The cliché of the modern meeting room is the ice-breaker. Tell us something interesting about yourself, who is your inspiration? It’s an exercise in banality, with the answers often as tired as the questions; if Beyoncé gets one more recommendation she’ll surely be eligible for the George Cross. Where I used to dread this demand, however, I now cannot wait. I have found my inspiration, and it is the NCS Regional Youth Boards.
— Michael Lynas (@michael_lynas) March 18, 2017
With NCS hitting 300,000 graduates this year, a crowded field of Social Action superstars is accumulating rapidly. This is no complaint; volunteering is the life-blood of our community, and the launch pad of many teenagers’ journey into adulthood. It has rightly become a rite of passage, and a credit to our 16 and 17 year olds. The next time you read about this scurrilous generation, remember the teens giving up their holidays to help the old, the infirm and the vulnerable where local services have left them behind. With a bar raised so high, it is hard for young people to stand out as an inspiration, and yet our Regional Youth Board has done precisely that this week. Having smashed NCS previously, they have come back and once again stood tall amongst their peers and community. In less than a week, these grads conducted car washes, cake sales and karaoke to raise funds and awareness for the Framework charity.
Sleepout with @NCSRYB_ raised nearly £1,000 for @Framework_HA. So proud, @NCSIngeus @elevationetwork @NCS – this is the face of tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/wLbe1yT6WT — Alexander Chalkley (@Chalkley1990) March 25, 2017
Taking a quick break to spend all week at school, revising, doing coursework and having their own lives, they then jumped back on the social action horse and spent the entirety of Friday night at Vision West Notts in sub-zero temperatures sleeping out. Shielded only by cardboard, foil and their own cheer as part of Frameworks’ ‘Big Snore’, the Regional Youth Board raised nearly £1,000 for Framework.
By the end of this fantastically frenetic week, these 15-odd grads and volunteer staff will have raised enough to fund 100 different ‘Befrienders’, offering vital social contact to the homeless, or 250 travel bursaries to medical appointments. Perhaps more significantly, it shows to homeless people that even the youngest and most under pressure have the time to think of them. To me it shows real inspiration; this is not the face of an entitled and unengaged youth, this is the face of social action, this is the face of tomorrow. This is my inspiration.