Shrewsbury Town in the Community found themselves at the Buttermarket on Monday night, as they hosted their first NCS Graduation Ceremony.
There were several VIPs in attendance such as Shrewsbury Mayor Jane Mckenzie, judo star Tom Davis and Jamie Edwards, Head of Shrewsbury Town in the Community.
The evening marked the end of an exciting three week journey for the first group of NCS young people, with 77 young people signing up for the NCS experience.
Shrewsbury Town in the Community run the National Citizen Service (NCS), which is a life changing national programme for 16 to 17 year olds (or current year 11 and 12 students). It’s a fun, exciting and challenging programme that offers young people the opportunity and skills to make a real difference in their local communities.
Over the three weeks the group travelled to PGL Liddington for Phase One, where they took part in team building exercises and outdoor adventure activities.
Phase Two took place at Walford College, where they increased their independence and responsibility through living in university accommodation and where they received talks from the emergency services. They also built on life skills such as learning to drive, changing tyres on motor vehicles and first aid.
They also completed their social action projects for Phase Three, where the group is split into teams as they plan different events to raise money and awareness for good causes.
In total, £4,768.67 was raised for Hope House, Sight Loss Shropshire, Brain Tumour Research, Dementia Friends, The Harry Johnson Trust and The Alzheimer’s society.
Head of the programme, Sophie Challinor, was extremely proud of the new graduates, and said: “I think it’s been brilliant.
“I was really chuffed to see the young people back here again, they’ve all really enjoyed the programme.
“Every young person impressed us this year, so it was a really outstanding wave that we’ve had.”
Sophie was particularly impressed with how much the programme helped certain members come out of their shell, and saw first hand people’s confidence growing as the weeks progressed.
“I even had a girl in my team who couldn’t even talk to the rest of the group because she was so nervous and anxious,” she said.
“By the end of it she’s shouting and ordering people about and been a real integral part of the team.
“She would never have anticipated doing that herself.”
Certain members of the group we recognised for their efforts and were presented with ‘Outstanding Achievement Awards’ on the night.
One of those, Sebastian Manterfield, couldn’t have been happier with how his NCS journey had gone, and was delighted to win the award.
“To win something like that, it makes me feel great because I’ve done something that I’ve loved and I’ve got recognised for it,” he said.
“It’s been amazing. I’ve had fun, I’ve learnt knew things and along the way I’ve helped people out.
“I’ve given back to the community after what they’ve given me, so it’s been brilliant, I couldn’t have done anything better.”