This summer was a scorcher, right? So you can imagine how thrilled we were when 70 young people gave up chilling with their ice creams in the sun to help us out. Tigers Trust organise a National Citizen Service (NCS) in our local area, funded by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. NCS gives people aged 15-17 an exciting opportunity to do three weeks of adventurous team building, followed by designing, planning and delivering a local community project.

We had five groups of kids implement some incredible community projects with us throughout the summer. One group’s social action project focused on making a change with children who are in temporary accommodation. This group really got their green thumbs out and revamped a garden at a family shelter, meaning that children could enjoy the weather to the full. The group made this happen by painting, planting flowers, and even bought a new bench after raising money at a bake sale. We’d also like to give a shout-out to the St Stephen’s Tesco Extra community charity for their generous donations.

Following this, another group brought outdoor toys and food, plus they threw a teddy bears picnic in the garden for the families in shelters, which went down a treat. One little girl who was living in temporary accomadation for a couple of nights felt love and safety all around her, something she’s not experienced for a long time. We’re so glad that she had a fantastic day and didn’t want to leave!

We also had a group focus their social action plan around Move On. These projects help a range of people get back into independence, such as those who have left prison, experienced abusive situations or been affected by hidden homelessness. They channeled their inner Nick Knowles and helped furnish a house for a woman who was literally about to give birth. They not only blitzed the whole place, they even bought baby clothes and garden toys to make the house a home. On top of this, they were visited by UK Labour MP Diana Johnson – what an achievement!

You can see that the simplest things often make the biggest impact, and these community projects are a shining exmple of how youth enagagement can create significant positive change. Thanks guys, you were blooming marvellous!

So much can be achieved through NCS within the community. It also helps young people aged 15-17 to gain knowledge, enhance their CV, make friends and have adventures, all whilst delivering some incredible projects. If you’re interested in getting involved, check out the NCS website.