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NCS Diaries: Phase 4 Celebration

Go on NCS this summer with our leaders on the programme as they let us experience NCS through blogs from each phase.

24 September 2019

NCS Summer 2019 has ended across all regions and in total Catch22 has seen 4,205 young people complete the programme through the four phases.

Those 4,205 young people have achieved great things, delivering a total of 294, 780 hours of social action for 250 local and national partner organisations and raising a huge £143,437 which has been donated to their chosen organisations.

NCS can be a life-changing programme not only for the young people who participate but also for those organisations and individuals that their actions positively impact.

For our last NCS Diaries entry, Sean Robinson, from our Liverpool team, talks us through the Phase 4 Celebration.

Sean Robinson, NCS Leader Liverpool

Phase 4: Celebration

What is Phase 4 NCS? Why is it so important to the NCS journey?

Phase 4 of NCS is known as the celebration phase. It is all about getting together with friends you’ve made on the programme and other teams to really reflect and appreciate what you’ve achieved for yourself and your community over the summer.

Phase 4 kicks off with a graduation ceremony that is usually held in a community hall or event space in your local area. During the ceremony, each team’s achievements from the different waves are read out and recognised, the ceremony closes with performances from the teams, a big sing-a-long and a party.

Some teams achieve massive success, raising thousands of pounds –  while others may have raised small amounts. However, this doesn’t matter! What matters is that these teams have been working together towards a better future for themselves and their communities. I think it is so important for them to see how easy and simple it can be to start big changes!

What are some memorable moments from your own graduation?

My favourite part of my own graduation in 2018 was when I was able to see so many of my peers overcoming their own personal barriers. For some it’s easy to get on stage and sing their hearts out, but for others, interacting with larger groups can be a real challenge. So when you get to see these people make that step it’s incredibly uplifting.

During my time on programme, one person’s journey still sticks with me. This person really didn’t want to go on NCS and remained reluctant from the beginning of the programme – but their parents insisted. Even after starting with this negative outlook on the programme they left it with a positive outlook, life changing skills, more confidence and best friends for life. To me that’s what NCS is all about.

What is the NCS Youth Board and how do you become a part of it?

The NCS Youth Board is a chance for NCS graduates to meet up to continue with their passions for social change after NCS has finished. It is split up by Local, Regional and National groups. On a local level, young people meet regularly to plan and deliver real change on the ground in their areas. The meetings are in the evenings or at weekends to avoid getting in the way of education commitments you may have.

The Regional Youth Board meet quarterly; it is a step up from Local and allows you to make a broader impact. You can be involved in a social action project for Action Day and get to attend NCS Kick Start event. For my Action Day, our team worked with Buddy Up to organise a fun day for children with social issues who may be at risk of isolation.

After Regional you can apply to National Youth Board, a further step up where you will be trained on the NCS Leaders programme as either a Communications Leader, Social Action Leader or Youth Voice Leader.

What would you say to someone considering becoming a NCS Leader after completing the programme?

If I had to be blunt I would say just go for it. The opportunities available to you after the NCS program just keep getting better the further you go with it! It will give you a unique experience into the work and also provides the chance for you to be part of making NCS even better each year! You are guaranteed to gain skills like leadership and patience which will help you in all walks of life, whether they’re NCS related or not.