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Youngsters celebrate being model citizens

Posted: 29 November 2021

Groups of students at West Nottinghamshire College have celebrated their efforts at becoming active and responsible citizens through a once-in-a-lifetime national youth project.

More than 30 learners who study on the Supported Internship Programme, Pathways to Employment Entry 3 and the Animal Care Entry 3 courses, joined together to be rewarded by the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme, receiving certificates signed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The teenagers have been involved in the NCS scheme throughout the autumn. This scheme is designed to support young people in their transition to adulthood through residential projects and community-based activities.

The three groups were joined by college staff, representatives from the NCS Notts County Foundation and staff from Portland College in Mansfield, where most of their activities and challenges took place, to receive certificates at a formal presentation.

Over a two-week period, the students were involved in a woodland adventure, animal care skills, horticultural projects and a social action project which were divided into phases.

During phase one individuals were challenged in the Portland College-based Woodland Adventure zone through adrenaline-filled activities such as zip-lining, rock climbing and abseiling which developed their teamwork skills whilst giving them the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zones.

Phase two saw the groups immerse themselves in a range of creative workshops designed to build their life skills such as public speaking, understanding their communities and preparing for work life. It enabled the students to experience the rewards of teamwork as well as taking the brave step to function on an individual basis.

In their third phase of the project, students used their skills to make a difference to their community with a project. They worked together to improve the animal care facilities at Portland College which included cleaning and maintaining the animal’s homes and bedding, creating bug hotels and general maintenance and care of the grounds.

West Nottinghamshire College’s supported internship team leader Louise Pilter said: “Everyone engaged so well throughout this programme. Their confidence and social interaction within the groups was great and seeing them engaging socially outside the classroom environment was fantastic to see.

“The project gave them a taste of different work activities which has enabled them to make informed choices of their future aspirations – whether this is to gain employment or undergo progression at college.

“All the groups are still buzzing from their experiences and tutors have seen great changes in their confidence and engagement levels.”

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