NCS is a voluntary personal and social development programme for 16–17-year-olds in England and Northern Ireland, and has been a key part of the Sport and Public Services curriculum for the past four years. The cost is covered by NCS and the activities are aimed to help young people develop life skills and confidence in leadership. HSDC Alton is one of the few colleges in Hampshire to regularly offer this programme to its students.
Over the four days, NCS engaged the students in leadership and team development activities, delivered by specialist staff including Royal Marine Commandos. Sports and fitness activities were delivered by a gym owner and personal trainer and there were also special guest seminars on Mental Health. In addition to these activities students also gained their First Aid certification and Dodgeball Coaching qualifications.
Sport Diploma student Jasper Soanes described the week’s events:
“We started off the week with various team-building activities, including an online escape room and then went outside braving the cold for some fun team challenges.
“On Tuesday we had an Emergency First Aid course which everyone passed. This is great to put on our CVs as well as giving us confidence that if anything happened in the wider world we could calmly provide help. Wednesday was the most fun for me as a Sport student because we got to achieve a Level 1 Coaching Qualification in Dodgeball and I spent the day playing lots of nerve-racking games!
“On Thursday we gave back to the local community, making boxes with presents like hot chocolate mixes, various sweets and had a £5 budget per box for anything else that may be useful (some jokes and card games etc). We also added a little note about ourselves and wished them a Merry Christmas.”
Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Level 3 Public Services Extended Diploma student Ben Wibberley’s feedback:
“It was really good and a good chance to make new friends.”
Sport Diploma student Neve Burke commented,
“I learnt to take in everyone’s ideas before making a decision and to ask questions. This helped me in my course as I gained the confidence to ask for help when I need it.”
NCS has also kindly ring-fenced funding for those students to go paintballing post-COVID.