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NCS WEEK 3: getting out into the community

This week, Bryony meets some impressive people from her local community and begins to form a plan for her 30 hours of social action

This week we've been meeting up in Kendal daily to take part in a variety of talks and activities. We began the week with a trip to the Town Hall to meet our local MP Tim Farron to talk about politics and present him with our questions.

Many of our questions were about the recent EU referendum but there were also more general questions from people trying to understand more about the work that he does. 

In the afternoon we got into teams and pitched ideas for our own political parties. Our party was called The Minders and our aim was to make the stigma of mental health disappear. 

The next day we met at Ghyllside Primary School to do some work with Chestnut Events. We tried a range of different activities, like gardening, clearing the wood, painting and chopping down willow trees.

It was very rewarding at the end when some of the young school children brought us ice lollies to say thank you - and we were all extremely pleased to get them after working all day in the boiling sun!

On Wednesday we became 'Dementia Friends' taking part in a workshop to help us learn more about Dementia and Alzheimer's disease. We got a really good insight into what the disease does to the brain and it made us much more aware of the disease.

In the afternoon we went to the local fire station where we watched some very interesting videos about road safety. It was quite shocking to find out how dangerous cars can be; giving us all an early warning before we all turn 17 and start learning to drive. 

Afterwards we were able to practice putting people into the recovery position and doing CPR on dummies; preparing us for any potential emergency situations why might find ourselves in.

On Thursday we began working on our social action plans - trying to decide how we wanted to spend our 30 hours of volunteer work. We then had to pitch our plans to our Team Leaders in small groups, and we were questioned on our plans practicality and suitability. 

In the afternoon, we had the chance to meet a local police officer who was there to talk to us about some rather sensitive topics. We all got pretty engaged with what he was saying and listened well to his advice.

The rest of the day was mostly spent playing games and having as much fun as possible. We also used the money left over from our food budget last week to buy a massive buffet tea!

I really enjoyed the relaxed way in which we worked in week 3. After two weeks of being away from home it was nice to just chill and chat with everyone on NCS. 

The most interesting part of the week for me was probably the talk with the police officer. I liked the way he talked about the general life issues that affect people my age and the way he made everything he had to say relevant to us.

The most challenging day was probably Tuesday when we were in the heat the entire day. It was hard work digging holes in the ground whilst gardening and sawing down branches!

The next step now is to get on with my social action project, which I'm hoping to do next week. I'm looking forward to giving back to my local community and helping out where I can.

Bryony 😊

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