Team Captain Nathan Clarke took time out last week to visit the latest batch of National Citizen Service (NCS) participants as they completed their second week-long residential, this time based at the Grangewater Activity Centre in Thurrock, Essex.
NCS is a flagship government initiative which Leyton Orient Community Sports Programme is now delivering for the third successful year. During July and August, around 60 16 and 17 year olds will spend ten days on two residentials doing outward-bound style activities and taking part in a range of team-building events and challenges, including shelter construction, sailing and wall-climbing followed by three days of planning and finally delivering a 30-hour social action project (SAP) within their local communities.
After the initial week away, camping in Danbury, Chelmsford, the second week started to focus on team work and thinking about their SAP’s. Clarkey, as club ambassador for the scheme, popped down to give an inspirational talk and also judged some of the work completed by the four teams including a graffiti project. He said, “It’s a pleasure to come down and see the NCS in action. It’s not something I had a chance to do, the nearest to this I got was when I was in the Cubs, but it looks and sounds great. Talking to some of the participants, they seem like they are having a really good experience and are making new friends along the way.”
On arrival at the centre, Clarkey was given a tour of the facilities and then joined the group for dinner before mixing with the crowd. Commenting on the basic accommodation, he added, “I reckon the first challenge would be for the guys to deal with sleeping in a 5-berth bunk-bed! It’s probably the first time most of them have been away from home and dealing with living and sleeping amongst others can be quite intimidating.”
The Social Action Projects will be taking place in Harlow, Cheshunt and closer to home at the Score centre in Leyton as this year’s participants have been enrolled from both Hertfordshire and Essex as well as Waltham Forest and Nathan will be visiting one or two once they are up and running. “It’s important to support the young people as they progress and it will be really interesting to see what they will be delivering to their local communities. I’m sure whatever they do will be a success and really improve the image of teenagers in society today.”
There will be an Autumn NCS! If you are interested and would like more details, please contact Phil Rudling by email on [email protected]
or call the LOCSP office on 0208 556 5973