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NCS Students raise awareness as well as money for St John’s

A group of young people taking part in the National Citizen Service spent 4 weeks earlier this year learning about and supporting St John’s Hospice as their chosen charity.

National Citizen Service (NCS) is an experience for 15 to 17 years-olds to embark on exhilarating challenges, make their mark and build skills for work and life. More than 275,000 young people have already said YES to NCS. We were very lucky to be chosen by a wonderful group of young people as the focus of their project.

Supported by Lisa Preston, Community Fundraiser at St John’s Hospice, the students organised events to raise money for the hospice such as a family fun day and Treasure hunt, cake sale, donation of clothes to our shops, bingo night, Kendal Torchlight Carnival float and street party, a raffle and a 24 hour challenge! They raised over £500 in total.

Carrie McIntosh, Volunteer Coordinator at St John’s said, “This year we have had several students with us from the NCS Scheme. They have taken on an array of tasks from Window cleaning at the hospice, to creating a bingo session for our Parkinsons Day Therapy group. In the shops, we have had several students helping us and we have been really appreciative of their “can do” attitude and excellent customer service skills. One student showed a talent for fabulous window displays which came in very handy.  The bingo session was extremely well received and the group even got an invitation to come back. We have been thrilled that the NCS has chosen us to engage with in their community setting.”

Kendal based Community Fundraiser Sara Brown said, “The NCS students I have seen this year have given a lot of thought to supporting St John’s Hospice and raising money for us in several different ways.  They have been enthusiastic and energetic in their proposals, and I am thrilled that so much positive action came from delivering the talks in Ambleside and Lancaster.  We are so grateful for every penny that has been raised and it really will make a difference to the lives of people in our local community.  I look forward to returning next year when I hope more young people will feel inspired to fulfil their social action project and support the hospice.”

Community Fundraiser Lisa Preston said, “This is the first year I have worked with NCS students and it’s been an absolute pleasure, they have been very positive supporting St Johns Hospice with some very unique ideas.”

Victoria Carter, the NCS Coordinator for South Lakes and North Lancashire, said, “Inspira have been working in partnership with St John’s Hospice since 2013, linking with them on the National Citizen Service (NCS) contract, where we work with large groups of young people (15-17), encouraging them to develop and deliver social action projects within their local community.  In summer & autumn of 2017, we recruited around 360 young people from schools & colleges across South Cumbria & North Lancashire onto NCS; they took part in outdoor residential placements, developing confidence, team-building and independence skills. They then had to develop ‘social action’ projects, with the aim of increasing awareness of local issues and creating a positive impact in their communities. Lisa & Sara from SJH delivered workshops to all of our groups then continued to work with some of the teams, who helped raise awareness of the work the hospice does. We believe that young people can make a positive difference in our community and we are proud of the hard work and determination they have shown, when planning and delivering these projects in Lancaster, Morecambe and Kendal.”

After all their hard work, the team were nominated by St Johns Hospice for a regional NCS award and they won! Team member, Ella Tasker said, “We all had a lovely graduation thank you, and it was honestly such a lovely surprise to have won, we were not expecting it at all! So thank you so much for nominating us!”

As part of the social action part of the project, students Emily, Mahri and Sophie produced the following video, telling Ella’s story. Please take a couple of minutes to watch.

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