11 April 2017
Q&A with Emily Bateman, former NCS Wave Leader
Meet Emily, a Catch22 National Citizen Service (NCS) Support Worker working in Herefordshire. Emily started with Catch22 as an NCS Wave Leader, inspiring and motivating 15 to 17-year-olds through the NCS programme including residential trips away from home, local skills workshops and social action activities. Emily told us about her experience as an NCS Wave Leader and why she encourages others to apply to work with NCS over the summer.
Why did you decide to apply to be an NCS Wave Leader? After graduating from University with an acting degree I really wanted to get into education. The only option for me there would be to do another year at university. I love being out and about so wanted to step away from the lecture rooms and get involved with something as soon as possible. I heard about NCS from a friend and it seemed perfect. It gave me the chance to support young people as a mentor and be an inspiration for them whilst being active and even learning new skills myself! I now help with the planning of the programme as well as being on the programme in the summer to see how all of our hard work has paid off. I haven’t looked back since – NCS has something for EVERYONE.
Did you have any youth work experience before NCS? Nothing like this, however I have always been passionate about young people and have tried to get involved with it as much as possible, from completing theatre in education modules, touring around schools in the UK and basing my dissertation around education and the development of young people through performance. I also volunteered with various performance companies teaching young people to perform. I have younger family members and I’m not far off from being a young person myself!
In your words, what is NCS, what do you do each week, and why do you recommend it? NCS is a perfect stepping stone for young people (and even the mentors) to further their education/employment. It gives you some valuable skills to take with you and the confidence you need to push yourself to your full potential. In the first week you meet new friends for life, take on new challenges and have fun at an activity centre. In the second week you learn important life skills at a university which also prepares you for the final two weeks, which I find the most rewarding. This is the social action part where you throw everything you have learnt on NCS into a project of YOUR choice. This could range from raising money for a local charity to fixing up a local garden. The possibilities are endless when you put your mind to it.
An NCS Wave Leader will…be a person to talk to and a leader to guide you! That is 24/7…potentially not just on programme, but for life! There is nothing else like NCS.
A day in the life of an NCS Wave Leader…little sleep but lots of fun! Be prepared to knock on doors at 7:30am for breakfast – young people prefer sleep!
My favourite part about the role…is seeing the change in everyone, from being strangers at the beginning to becoming one big supportive family.
I feel I made a difference by…encouraging those who didn’t want to take part all the time, and proving to them the difference their involvement makes. Everyone is valuable in NCS.
You’ll never forget…(as a participant) the difference you made and the journey you went on, from arriving at the coach station to collecting your certificate at Graduation. I think the same applies for the mentors (minus the Certificate part).
The experience you get as an NCS Wave Leader will benefit you in the future by….giving you leadership and organisational skills as well as the enthusiasm to work with young people forever.
Inspired by Emily’s story? Join us this summer as an sessional NCS staff member for the experience of a lifetime.
- Find out more about the National Citizen Service (NCS)
- Apply to work with NCS
- Contact Catch22’s NCS team
- Follow Catch22 on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook