Adults who can help young people improve their life skills and give something back to the community are needed for a summer time project in Andover. Valley Leisure, who run Andover Leisure Centre in partnership with Test Valley Borough Council, are hosting the National Citizen Service (NCS) locally and would like to hear from people who have the skills to mentor 16 and 17-year-olds.
The NCS is a government-funded scheme that brings together young people from different backgrounds to increase their confidence, self-awareness and responsibility. It involves a three-week full-time programme in the summer, plus 30 hours working on a social action project, which will help them become more independent and inspired to support community where they live.
One of the weeks will be spent at an outdoor physical activities centre at Falmouth, which will include surfing and climbing. For another week the youngsters will be camping and learning to live more independently. And the mentors will support the project every step of the way.
James Blyth, assistant manager sports and activity development for Valley Leisure, who’s in charge of running the local NCS scheme, said: “It’s a great opportunity for young people to change negative stereotypes and really demonstrate the positive and creative energy they can inject into their local community. And it’s a great opportunity for adults with skills to support them too.” This summer will be the second time that Valley Leisure has run the project.
A mentor who worked on the project last year said: “It was an amazing experience. Yes, it was exhausting. Yes, it was emotionally draining. BUT the belly laughs, the excitement and the reward of seeing the team grow in confidence and spirit made that investment of time and energy more than worthwhile.” Last year the young people organised tea dances at local retirement homes, youth charity gigs, and a family fun day to raise £1,800 for 3 Smiles, the charity for children with special or additional needs.
They also had a graduation ceremony where they dressed up in their finest clothes, had fun commemorative photos taken and celebrated their achievements with their mentors. To apply to be a NCS mentor, see the careers pages on www.valleyleisure.co.uk The deadline for applications is Monday 19th May. The positions are paid.