Music loving teenagers from National Citizen Service are drumming up funds for a social action project to create mental health first aid kits to be given to young people in need of help and support.
Their first fundraising event was a Christmas concert at the Canalhouse in Nottingham, which raised almost £100 and was supported by family and friends who heard a programme of music that included original songs written by the performers.
Many of the contributors had completed the National Citizen Service (NCS) summer activity programme, including 13 local NCS graduates who were subsequently selected to be members of the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire regional youth board, which fundraises for local good causes. The teenagers will also help shape the unique NCS programme for future participants in the area.
To date, almost 500,000 young people across the UK have taken part in NCS, which is delivered regionally by Ingeus, in partnership with local youth organisations.
STRIKING THE RIGHT NOTE
One of the performers was Jasmine Hazlehurst, who lives in Worksop, Nottinghamshire. She played a guitar and sang her own composition called ‘Remember’ that celebrates her childhood.
“Our NCS regional youth board is quite musical and we decided to stage a concert to generate funds that will finance the mental health first aid kits,” explained 16-year-old Jasmine, an ‘A’ level student at the Outwood Academy Post 16 Centre in Worksop. “We feel this is a really important project that will enable us to help young people with mental health issues. We want to include items that provide immediate practical help to relieve stress as well as guidance on the agencies offering more long term support and advice.
“I was so excited to be singing my song in front of a live audience and it was very special that my brother, who played guitar, was also with me as the music was about our days as young children. It was such a great atmosphere and everyone has been incredibly supportive. Being involved with NCS has given me so much, including the confidence to perform on stage.”
The NCS graduates intend to launch the special kits in the spring. Among the intended items are tactile therapy aids such as stress balls and fidget cubes and information on relaxation techniques. There will be further positive guidance for the recipients that will also include leaflets, supplied by the mental health charity Young Minds, to explain the range of support services offered for young people.
Charlotte Drewett, NCS Graduate Engagement Manager, commented: “I am really pleased and proud of all the efforts the regional youth board has made into making this event a success. It’s great to see a group of young people come together from across the region to deliver an amazing fundraiser for such a worthwhile and relevant cause. I am really excited to see the rest of their project work in the New Year as they create and distribute the mental health packs.”
NCS is a government backed programme open to all 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. It aims to increase social mobility, cohesion and engagement, instilling valuable life skills and the opportunity to support community initiatives. There are nineteen Regional Youth Boards across the country.
To find out more visit www.NCSYES.CO.UK