Over the past four weeks I’ve been out and about doing NCS, a government run scheme that is basically four weeks of being away from home (for the first two), helping the community, meeting new friends and raising money for charity. It all happens after GCSEs so whilst you may be thinking that this post doesn’t apply to you it just well might. I learnt things that I didn’t think I ever would and I’ve come out of NCS a much more confident person (haha probably not but I like to think I have) and with that I am so much more looking forward to starting sixth form next month; not that I want to think about starting school again but it has been gradually slipping into my thoughts more often.
If you follow me on Instagram then you may be aware of what I’ve been up to and what I’ve been doing but the past two weeks I’ve been carrying out a ‘social action’ project with my group. We’ve been planning and carrying out all our chosen volunteering and fundraising activities. On Tuesday we walked 10km covered in glitter supplied by Eco Glitter Fun and Dust and Dance, most of the photos on this post are from the walk. I was shocked at the generosity of people wanting to get behind our walk, we had so much fun putting on the glitter (a little less walking but I think that was to be expected). Wednesday brought us to a care home that made me realise life should be lived as if every day is your last, the old people there were so sweet and we talked, sang and Riptide by Vance Joy has quickly become my new fave tune. It was the last song we sung to them before we left and whilst I’ve never really listened to the lyrics before it is so beautiful and will no doubt remind me of NCS every time I listen to it.
Without this sounding like a timetable of the past week, Friday was probably the best day. Our group hosted an afternoon tea in a village hall alongside a raffle and quiz. We raised £500 which bought our total of money raised to around £925. All the money is going to a local hospice called Naomi House and it is so great to see the money going to such a great cause. Not only that but people’s willingness to give donations and the support from places that wanted to donate to the raffle. We ended on a high and came out buzzing (I think, I mean I did). I shouldn’t discredit Thursday though, we helped out at a Scouts hut and helped build a fence, shovel wood chippings; the usual garden work that I clearly do most weeks. The man who ran it was called John and he bought us doughnuts and came to our afternoon tea event the next day, honestly I wanted John to be my new bestie because he was the cutest person ever and I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a doughnut more in my life than on that Thursday.
That was the lowdown on our social action project, the first two weeks were about team building, workshops, activities like surfing and coasteering. Yes, the girl who absolutely detests heights managed to jumper of a rock and *spoiler alert* blummin’ enjoyed it.
What made it so fun though? The people played a huge (and I mean huge part) in the experience. I knew one person in our group of 14, my best friend Dani (who is also resident photo taker here on EleanorClaudie) and wow did we all bond. There were five girls and eight boys in our group and genuinely think it was fate that so many boys were put in our group because of the little interaction I have had with the other gender over the past few years. It may not be news to you but my conversational skills when it comes to boys are pretty much zero so I was majorly happy that I was able to make friends that were guys. Like it wasn’t even that hard so I’m really not sure what I have spent Secondary school doing wrong but better late than never right? But yeah it was great to actually make friends that were boys and I no longer feel so socially inept.
The girls in my group were the nicest too, we’ve all become such great friends and ahhh it was just crazy how great our team was. We’re all pretty different character but when you have to spend four weeks in each others company, you can’t help but be influenced by other peoples behaviour and quirks. I definitely have a store of bad jokes from NCS and I would share them but I feel like they wouldn’t be considered funny, to us they were but to you reading you may just think it is incredibly weird.
What did I learn from NCS?
I learnt that you should say yes sometimes, even if you don’t think you have the confidence to. I learnt that I have to stop doubting myself. I learnt that when meeting new people, don’t hold back on your personality until you know them because if they’re going to like you then they should like you for who you truly are. But most importantly, I learnt that if you step outside your comfort zone, even just a little then the world opens up to new things, new people and new memories.
These four weeks of summer have shown me that yeah, actually I can do what I want to do if I’m determined enough but do it with people that make you a better person along the way as well. It all starts with yes and it can end with something great. NCS’ slogan is kind of ‘say yes’ and that rings true.
|and the polaroids feature again on my blog but they’re just so cute I love them <3|
Now I couldn’t be further from an affectionate person but I can’t quite believe how much I’ve enjoyed the past few weeks, the people I’ve met and the fact I’m coming out of this not only with new friends but a renewed confidence that secondary school did try and beat out of me at times. If you are ever feeling doubtful about anything, don’t say no thinking you won’t enjoy it because you just might and end with more than you even hoped for.
lots of love, Eleanor xx
ps. we love you John 🙂