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Hi guys, my name is Alice and this is my NCS journey…

It all started for me back in 2012 when I signed up to be a participant on the summer programme. I had no idea what NCS was about and none of my friends signed up for it. I was really worried about going away without my parents and with no one I knew but after meeting up with the group I knew I was in safe hands! We had the best time at YHA Langdale doing all sorts of activities like Raft Building, Archery and a whole bunch of adrenaline filled team challenges. One moment that really stands out for me was when we went to a quarry mine and did the abseil over this 10 foot or something edge!! I remember freaking out about my fear of heights so I volunteered to go first to get it out of the way. It was the most invigorating activity I’ve ever done and it really helped me overcome my fear of heights, not to mention being away from home! 

NCS helped me gain the skills and confidence to go to sixth form AND university – two things I never thought I would do! My original plan, ‘pre-NCS’ was to stay at the same school for Sixth Form and settle for what I had always known. ‘Post-NCS’ me decided to strive for more and take the next steps to go to a better Sixth Form in the town centre and better myself. I made A LOT of friends on NCS and I actually ended up at the same Sixth Form as them for the next two years.

In 2013 I came back on the Graduate scheme and was an Ambassador on the NCS programme where I worked with the young people and supported the staff. I learnt a lot from taking part in NCS the year before and I wanted to make sure that the year below me got the same opportunities that I had. Volunteering is great thing to do for work experience as this is something that employers look for when you leave school.

In 2014 I turned 18, so this year there was paid opportunities available for me, especially because of my past experience as an NCS participant and graduate! The NCS Journey does not stop when you finish your first programme, it’s a life long experience that will benefit you when you leave education and become an adult.

In 2015 I took the next step and worked as a Lead Mentor, this was a big step for me as it included a lot more responsibility than I ever had before. As I was still quite young this was a great opportunity for me to learn skills like project management and leadership as I was in charge of my own little group of young people! By this point I was at University and working for Flying Futures in the summer time was ideal for me to balance my studies and still gain work experience.

In 2016 I decided to earn myself a little more money and experience and I did two programmes in the summer as a Lead Mentor again. Every year I work with Flying Futures on the NCS programme is another year where I get to participate in the activities – the only difference now being that I get paid for it!

From meeting lots of different young people from different backgrounds and cultures, I decided to do something a little different when at university. I started to learn British Sign Language as I am interested in the Deaf Culture and History. It has been another great skill for me and has broken down the barrier for Deaf young people taking part in NCS.You may have seen some of my videos with Flying Futures in BSL already, if not check them out below!

This year I intend to take the next step and finally become a Programme Lead. I set myself this target when I first started my NCS Seasonal Staff journey. I wanted to make sure I had completed every single role possible in NCS programmes so that I constantly had a target to reach whilst still studying in education. Now I am coming to the end of my university degree I will hang up my seasonal socks and become a full time member of the team at Flying Futures! (hopefully)