A national scheme to prepare 16 and 17-year-olds for life as adults has been highly recommended by one of its ‘graduates’ from Spalding.
Nikita Khela (17) was among more than 70 teenagers from Lincolnshire to complete the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme in February and March.
It included a four-day stay near Grantham where Nikita and other teenagers did team-building exercises such as archery, zip wire and assault course challenges.
Nikita, a health and social care student, said: “It was a little bit scary on the first day but after I realised that everyone was there to make friends and get to know other people, I had so much fun and it was such a laugh. The team-building exercises were really different and when people were doing activities, myself and my two friends from the Spalding group were the ones cheering everyone else on.”
The NCS programme also included visits to Lincoln where the teenagers had to design a new drink and pitch it to potential investors, as well as create a 20-minute theatre production, and Sleaford for a briefing about charitable work in the community.
Nikita and her friends then put together a Social Action Plan for 30 hours where they volunteered at Tulip Radio in Spalding.
“We had an Enterprise Challenge in Lincoln where we had to design a drink in a bottle and then sell it,” Nikita said.
“Then we went to Sleaford where we were told about different charities before discussing our Social Action Plan.
“We spent five consecutive Saturdays based in Spalding where we did painting, gardening, picking up litter and tidying up around Tulip Radio.
“It was quite rewarding, especially as we were doing it in town where everyone could come up to us and ask what we were doing. You have to complete the 30 hours in order to graduate and it gives you that sense of independence.”
The NCS graduation was held at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln, where Nikita and the other graduates were presented with certificates signed by Prime Minister David Cameron.
Nikita, who wants to be a sports physiotherapist, said: “By doing NCS, I realised I’m a lot more confident than I thought I was and when we got into our teams, I found that I was one of those who was leading the others. If I could do it again, I would but I’m 18 in the summer so I’ll have to look into becoming an NCS mentor.
“I would say to young people that if you’re quite shy and you want a challenge, if you want to broaden your skills and get to know other people, go for the NCS programme.
“It’s really well-known now, universities look for it in your applications and you can learn new skills as well.”
For more details about NCS in Lincolnshire, visit www.ncsem1.org.uk or www.facebook.com/NCSEM1
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