Chantelle is a previous National Citizen Service (NCS) participant, who joined the programme through BCHA. Her fantastic and rewarding experience urged her to re-join the scheme as a team leader years later.

NCS  is a four-phase programme specifically aiming to provide young people with invaluable  experiences to facilitate self-development. The scheme is designed to help people flourish through tasking participants, throughout the programme, with challenges that will enhance their confidence and provide them with new skills.

“My encounter with NCS began three years ago. Once I finished my GCSE’s, I knew exactly what to do with my summer, it was an easy decision, and that was NCS.

“I didn’t know anyone else taking part, so embarked on the adventure alone knowing full well that I would be away from home and I wouldn’t know anyone, which was a big step for me.

“As you can imagine, the first two weeks were mostly challenging as I was a very shy person and had to push myself out of my comfort zone to make friends but by the end of it I made a small group of friends, some of which I am still close with now.

“We were given so many fun and empowering opportunities. In the last two weeks we pitched for a social action project we felt passionate about. As result of this we were tasked with fundraising for the cause; as group we raised over £500 to renovate the Women’s refuge garden.

“The impact that we were able to create by coming together as a team; fundraising, planning and developing as individuals was so fulfilling. After this task alone, I felt empowered.

“The good work that BCHA provided through NCS and all their other schemes made me want to give something back. Three years later, I decided to be a team leader for the summer – it was one of the best decisions I have ever made”

“My experience as a team leader, was both physically and mentally challenging. However, seeing the young people develop into inspirational and motivated adults throughout the course, made it worth it and gave me such a great sense of achievement and pride.

“I managed to develop a professional yet friendly team leading environment, I built genuine relationships with both my co-workers and the young people, and above all, I learnt so much about myself. 

“Both BCHA and NCS have shown me the importance of being advocates and activists in the local community- I cannot praise the program enough.

“On reflection, the confidence and skills gained from my NCS experience empowered me with the courage to change schools for sixth form and has therefore allowed me to be where I am today; in my second year at Loughborough University studying Business Psychology”.

Chantelle’s piece of advice for changemaking:

“Take the risk and say YES. Challenge yourself and you’ll reap the rewards of doing so!”

  • £500 can provide Art as Relaxation sessions, including materials, for up to 90 people
  • £1,000 would help 10 victims of modern slavery with welcome packs, underwear and clothing
  • £3,000 would pay for an Ignite Work Club session to run every week for a year
  • £9,000 would allow up to 90 learners to complete a level 1 Skills for Supporting Others course