NCS Team Leader Karis shares her experience with Elevation Networks

By ENPress in Blog, Latest News, UncategorisedComments Off on NCS Team Leader Karis shares her experience with Elevation Networks


Have you been thinking about applying for one of our paid summer NCS roles in Brighton, Nottingham or Hertfordshire? Are you unsure of what to expect and whether you are what we may be looking for?

We sat down with Karis Stephen-Wooding who joined Elevation Networks for the first time last summer and she tells us about her experience from then to now…

  1. Tell us about your NCS experience last summer – what were your personal highlights?

I did two waves of NCS with Elevation Networks and it was without a doubt the best summer I’ve ever had. It was such a rewarding experience to see young people bloom into more confident version of themselves, be it facing fears or organising a community project from start to finish. Every day was filled with laughter and I take away memories I will always cherish!

My personal highlights were working with a fantastic staff team who kept me motivated each day. If I had to choose a specific moment it would be during our ‘team chant challenge’ during bonfire night at the outdoor residential centre – which the staff and I took way more seriously than the young people!


  1. What skills or characteristics do you think are needed to be a good Team Leader?

I think you just need to be yourself. Don’t be scared to show your funny side, your weird dislocating arm trick or even your extreme fear of heights!  Your team of young people will be much more nervous than you are for their summer adventure and will be looking up to you to lead the way.

It’s important to find a balance between being assertive and fun, nobody wants the programme to feel like a chore so keeping energy levels up at all times is a must. Even when you’re tired or feeling drained, it is important to stay focused and energised as your team will feed off your high or low energy.

Overall I’d say to conquer the team leader role, be you, be ready to listen, be alert, be approachable, be confident in your actions and most importantly be ready to have fun!


  1. What did you learn most about yourself from working on our programme?
    I learnt that I am actually a lot more confident than I thought I was. Last summer was the first time I’ve ever participated in something like NCS so naturally I was nervous and had doubt in myself, but now I look back and feel that I was worried for no reason.


  1. Has working for Elevation Networks been a stepping stone to other opportunities?

Yes – during the graduation ceremony I was introduced to Graham Robb, a trustee from Elevation Networks who previously chaired the Youth Justice Board of England and Wales. Interestingly, this was a career area I thought about pursuing after university. I was delighted when I was offered a two week placement with the Youth Offending Service which I will be taking part in next month and I’m very excited. 

Aside from this, I have just started a paid job as a support worker for young people in a residential setting. The skills and knowledge that I gained from working on the programme certainly helped me when it came to writing an application.


  1. Are you planning to work on NCS again – and if so what are you most excited about?

There is no doubt in my mind that I want to work on the programme again next summer. I’m probably most excited about the new memories I’ll make with not only the young people but a new team of colleagues. However I’m definitely not looking forward to the high ropes course during the first residential (dear future team, I apologise for the screaming in advance!).


  1. If you could give one piece of advice to new summer staff – what would it be? 

I would say pack your suitcase with all the essentials and get ready to have some serious fun – you will be fine! With such a supportive management team around you, there is always someone there to help you. The most important thing to do is to bring your smile and get others to bounce off your energy. Bring plenty of layers and maybe some flip flops for the showers!


Work With Us

If you’re interested in knowing more about our summer roles you can visit our NCS jobs page or call the NCS team on 0207 404 3927.


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