Welwyn Hatfield community spirit

Published: 22 Aug 2018

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

50 young people from Welwyn Hatfield 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.

Young people led events at St Audrey’s, Greenacres and Acacia Mews care homes in Hatfield. They met the residents, learnt about their past life experiences and current interests, hosted events for residents and provided practical help with renovations, including transforming outdoor spaces.

Lauren, aged 16, said: “Learning about what dementia is like for a person and what things we can do to help them has been really useful.”

Another group worked with Welwyn Garden City’s United Reformed Church to help develop the church’s community garden space. Over a short period of time the young people cleared a space for seating, sourced tyres and soil for plant pots, and spruced up the children’s play area. They held a raffle and colouring event at the Howard’s Shopping Centre which raised over £60 towards seating for the community garden.

Linda Tatehall, Community Garden Project Manager for the church, said: “I had no idea what to expect from this group of young people, but I’ve been blown away by what they’ve achieved. Their hard work has inspired me and our community. Our vision for a community garden that provides vegetables for the church’s weekly free lunch for the homeless and locals, and also a useable space for the local community, is finally coming to fruition because of these young people. They are phenomenal!”

For more information about YC Hertfordshire please visit www.ychertfordshire.org.