Young people from Hemel and surrounding areas took part in this summer’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, equipping them with skills and confidence.
The 206 youngsters aged 16 and 17 completed a week at Pikes Pool outdoor activity centre, followed by a further week’s residential stay.
During the fortnight, the young people learned key skills including communication and listening skills, leadership, negotiation, and decision making.
They took part in discussions on a range of subjects including mental health, careers, living independently and homelessness, and completed First Aid training and a Deaf Awareness course with basic sign language.
The final part of the scheme saw them split into groups to plan and implement a social action project in their local community.
These included painting a mural and cleaning the outside of Bennetts End Community Centre; organising games and activities at Dacorum Day Centre for adults with learning disabilities; helping at the Two Oaks Pony Sanctuary; organising activities for elderly people at Mountbatten Lodge in Hemel; a gardening project at Friars Mead Care Home; and refurbishing an outside space at Hemel Hospital.
Another group developed a short video about the barriers and stigma deaf people can face in everyday life.
Others raised awareness for the air ambulance service, the OLLIE Foundation, Cancer Research UK and deaf awareness in Hemel town centre.
One group painted an extensive mural to refurbish the Grovehill underpass. Another organised customer donations to Dens Food Bank at Sainsbury’s. A seating area was created at The Open Door in the communal gardens, which included redecoration of of the exhibition space.