Guest Blog: Former Volunteer Becky Hogg shares her experiencePosted on August 23, 2016
In September 2014, I left my ProjectScotland adventure behind and moved onto new horizons in London. Almost 2 years later, I continue to keep in touch with the organisation to share my journey and keep up with new developments across the growing ProjectScotland community (plus, I miss home!). The last article that I featured in on the website was for the inaugural Highland Fling Bungee in 2014, which you should definitely get involved with to fundraise for a great cause whilst conquering your fear of heights!
As a ProjectScotland Champion, I would like to share my continued journey since leaving bonnie Scotland. I relocated to London to study a Masters in Arts Administration & Cultural Policy at Goldsmiths, University of London, where I met new friends from all over the world.
Having experienced and contributed to cultural sustainability and civic engagement through ProjectScotland, I decided to embark on a completely new and challenging adventure with the National Citizen Serivce (NCS) this summer. By a stroke of luck, I was placed in the position of Assistant Programme Leader (APL)
So, what exactly is NCS? NCS place thousands of 15-17 year-olds in a 3-week intensive programmes annually. These programmes are designed to help young people build skills by participating in an outdoor experience, a residential trip and community work in their localities. NCS runs programmes outside of term-time, allowing young people to develop skills which they otherwise wouldn’t learn in the classroom. These skills are put to the test and fuelled by “The Challenge”. The initiative gives participants the opportunity to take part and become a Graduate of the scheme – it also looks super-duper on a UCAS application!
As for those of us involved in NCS over the age of 18 as staff, we also get to have a lot of fun, whilst building new friendships across the network and offering encouragement to future generations. Over the summer, the programme offers 12 ‘waves’ (i.e. 3-week placements) for young people outside of school costing no more than £50 per person. During my experience as APL, I was challenged in exercising my leadership, public speaking and behaviour management skills – things I have been looking to develop elsewhere but hadn’t yet been offered the opportunity, things I need to develop to advance in whatever career I choose.
The work was challenging, but the skills and memories built through the experience have been marvellous (including an encouraging and heart-warming speaker from Speakers Trust) and I can’t wait to continue being involved. If you’re someone who is up for an adventure, has a ‘can-do’ attitude and lives for seeing others’ eyes open to new possibilities, this is the perfect match for you.
ProjectScotland-ers to-be I encourage you to get involved! My experience on NCS wouldn’t have been the same had it not been for my prior experience with ProjectScotland – who I truly believe helped me set up a path for my future through exploring my passions in the workplace. Now all the gushy stuff is over… what are you waiting for?