Leeds Rhinos Foundation is helping young people to make a positive impact in the community through the NCS ‘Keep Doing Good’ programme.
Thousands of young people were due to go away on NCS this summer, with the aim being to live independently, learn new skills, meet new people and conduct voluntary work. However, due to the impact of Covid-19, the NCS programme has been repurposed and young people have instead been encouraged to pledge their time by signing up to ‘Keep Doing Good.’
The two-week programme got underway at Carr Manor Community School, with Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s NCS team leading the young people through a series of activities to help them develop new skills and become more active citizens; ranging from a healthy eating and nutrition workshop to a disability awareness session and team-building games.
David O’Rourke, NCS Project Co-Ordinator, said: “It’s been a really productive week of learning. We’ve got a really good group and they’ve responded well to whatever we’ve asked of them, taking on board the messages and showing a passion for doing good.”
“During this first week it’s crucial to make sure the group is comfortable with each other and I think we’ve done a good job of getting them in a space where they can now complete tasks and feel confident enough to work cohesively with the people around them.
There was also time spent preparing for Week 2 of the programme, which will allow the young people to undertake voluntary work at a designated social action project, helping the community where it needs it the most during this difficult period.
Students benefitted from presentations about different social action projects available to support, with David Norman from Leeds Children’s Charity at Lineham Farm coming in to outline the opportunity of rejuvenating garden spaces at their base.
“It’s important for young people to understand that facilities are out there where they can get involved and give back to their community,” said David. “We have some green areas and they’ll be helping to do some tidying, straightening, pruning and generally just offering a bit of love and care to make the land look nicer for the children who visit the farm.
“It’s always exciting for young people to see potential in an organisation like ours and for them to understand that some children are less fortunate and do need the external support that we can provide. Seeing that is a good leveller and a real positive learning experience for the young people on NCS.”
“We don’t know what these young people are capable of, but if they enjoy this experience and wish to become someone who provides support for us in the future, either financially or by giving more of their time to us, then we can’t lose.”
Reflecting on Week 1 of their programme, Mick Woolridge, Leeds Rhinos Foundation’s NCS Manager, commented: “If you look at the changes because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and you look at the amount of time we’ve had to get our delivery model ready, I think we’ve run an excellent first week.
“I hope that at the end of it they’ll have a great sense of achievement. For most of the young people it will be their first experience of doing any voluntary work, so it’s important that they see the benefits and feel encouraged to carry on giving back into their own communities following completion of NCS.”
To see how the young people get on with delivering their social action projects during Week 2 of NCS ‘Keep Doing Good,’ make sure to follow us on Twitter @RugbyLeeds and on Instagram @RhinosFoundationSummer2020.
For more information on the NCS ‘Keep Doing Good’ programme, visit https://wearencs.com/keep-doing-good.