Twenty-one 16 and 17 year olds have taken part in the Foundation's National Citizen Service course, which kicked off with an adventurous weekend in Allendale.

Along with staff from Newcastle United Foundation, the students took a trip to Allendale to get stuck into a range of exciting activities on an Out of Bounds course, including abseiling, canoeing and waterfall jumping. The activities are designed to put students outside their comfort zone and get them to work as a team to complete the challenges.

The students got to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, giving them the chance to learn valuable teamwork, communication and leadership skills.

Two of Newcastle United Foundation's Project Officer's, Lee Fairley and Laura Wilson, led the teams and saw how the young people developed over the weekend.

Laura explained:

"We were on hand to motivate and encourage the teams over the weekend. The students were working together with people they didn't know and maybe wouldn't normally socialise with. Even by the end of the first day, they were working together and supporting each other through the challenges.

"The NCS course helps the young adults develop skills needed to take with them when they leave school, such as being part of a team and working with different people. It's great opportunity to put something back into the community, whilst enhancing their CV, making new friends and having fun."

Daniel, a 17-year-old student from Walbottle Campus Sixth Form applied to the programme after seeing the presentation at school. He said:

"NCS gave a presentation at school and that got me interested. It was the different activities you could do and the chance to meet new people that attracted me.

"At the start it was hard because you didn't know anyone, but as soon as you got talking the tasks became easier because you were working together.

"I've definitely become more confident talking to people I don't know. I want to go to university so it will help me when meeting new people."

Jess McQueen, an NCS participant from Jesmond, also took part in the challenging weekend. She added:

"I've loved talking to new people and making new friends, finding out about people's backgrounds and what they like. Some of us have things in common and we'd never usually cross paths."

Steve Mack, Senior Project Coordinator, commented:

 "The way these individuals bonded so quickly as a group was unbelievable. This is a fantastic project for young people and we're always so proud that this programme is recommended so highly by the students after they have participated. We see a real change in the individuals working with us and it's always great to see how they develop over the four weeks."


Keep an eye on the website for articles by some of the students from the NCS programme about their experience - they will be posted in the next few weeks.

National Citizen Service (NCS) is a fantastic opportunity open to all Year 12 pupils that helps participants build their skills for work and life, while they take on new challenges and meet new friends.

For more information, please contact Steve Mack, Senior Project Coordinator, either via email or telephone 07826 870236.