Broxbourne community spirit

Published: 22 Aug 2018

Young people from Broxbourne demonstrate their community spirit during their summer holidays with Hertfordshire County Council’s youth service, YC Hertfordshire.

103 young people from Broxbourne and the surrounding areas are taking part in this summer’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, equipping them with the vital skills and confidence needed as they approach adulthood.

The 16-17 year olds completed a week at Pikes Pool Campsite and Water Activity Centre, just outside of Birmingham, followed by a week at Academy St Albans Residential and Education Centre.

During these two weeks, the young people learnt key skills including communication and listening skills, leadership, negotiation, and decision-making.

The young people took part in discussions on a range of subjects including mental health, careers, living independently and homelessness.

They also completed First Aid training and a Deaf Awareness course which taught them lifesaving skills and basic sign language.

The last two weeks of the course saw the young people split into groups to plan and implement a social action project, giving the opportunity to really make an impact in their local community.

Inspired by Fit and Fed, a campaign to tackle holiday hunger, inactivity and isolation, one group of young people chose to focus on nutrition and hosted a Fit and Fed event at Waltham Cross Young People’s Centre. Their main aim was to educate their peers and younger children about healthy eating and keeping active.

They planned and ran an event which included a healthy eating sandwich bar where participants made their own sandwiches, and a physical action station which included an assault course and egg and spoon race. Funds raised from the raffle have gone towards buying high-visibility jackets for the children who use the walking bus at Little Cherubs Kids Club, a local after school project.

Another group focused on renovating the outside space at Waltham Cross Young People’s Centre. Working as a team they consulted with other centre users to make better use of the outside space. Clearing away some overgrown areas of the centre they built a barbeque and picnic area, made planters and developed a sports area.

Young people also led events at Fourfields, a local residential and specialist dementia care home in Cheshunt. They led a range of fun activity and craft sessions and arranged a multicultural day where they bought taster food from various countries for the residents to enjoy.

Gertie West-Nijboer, Activity Carer at Fourfields said: “The young people engaged really well with our residents who were over the moon with the garden improvements and loved spending time chatting with them. Some of the young people were nervous to begin with but they soon relaxed and made a real effort to get to know the residents.”

Niral, aged 16, said: “NCS pushed everyone out of their comfort zones. It was great to socialise, make friends and be part of a team.”

Tia, aged 16, said: “I am more independent and more mature because of my NCS experience. I have become my own person.”

For more information about YC Hertfordshire please visit