Case Studies & Testimonials

Growing our own!

The journey from participant to ambassador!

Back in 2013 a young and quiet, year 11 student from Outwood academy in the name of Hannah Purdy decided to sign up to Doncaster Rovers Foundation’s (Club Doncaster Foundation) blossoming summer NCS programme. Without knowing a much about the programme, she stepped up and signed up to what was about to be the best summer of her life. Here’s what Hannah had to say, “I signed up to NCS in 2013 not knowing what it was or what I would be doing. I attended an assembly, delivered by Jan and Tim from the NCS programme, but I had never heard of it in my life so I was really excited to check it out, especially because my friends were going too.”

Throughout the programme, participants are challenged not only through the physical activities, but also, mentally on their journey. Participants will learn vital skills such as, leadership, communicating with outside partners such as Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council (DMBC), reflection, increased responsibilities and independence. Hannah talks about the best moments of her journey. “The best part about my NCS journey that I enjoyed the most was all of the activities that we took part in throughout the 2 weeks away on residential. On the first week we took part in activities like rock climbing, abseiling, canoeing and mountain hiking which was really challenging for me and pushed me to my limits which helped me grow as a person as it improved my 'can-do' attitude. I made some great friends who I am still in contact with now and it is an experience I will never forget. For my social action project I wanted to give something back to the children of our community, so me and my team went out into town and raised as much money as we could to buy toys for the children's hospital in Doncaster. I felt really great about doing this as I knew that I would be making a difference to a child life, however small that may be.” Clearly, Hannah provided some leadership, as she was able to bring her idea to life.

NCS Officer Jan Budtz, expressed his delight with how Hannah had applied herself to the programme, developing and using her leadership skills to carry out her desired social action project within the team. Jan noted “I was particularly impressed with Hannah’s journey throughout NCS, She went from not knowing or even heard about NCS to delivering a very successful project through means of teamwork and leadership with her group.”  Hannah expressed how she had learned to love NCS and she wanted to be a part of its future, with Club Doncaster Foundation. “I wanted to carry on with NCS however I could, so when I heard about the graduation scheme I jumped at the chance. I was able to go back on the trips for another year in the summer as an assistant leader, working with the leaders and being able to help out with the groups where they needed it, which is when I started getting respect and when I was starting to be treated like another leader, instead of a graduate. After my experience being a graduate I still couldn't stop there, so Tim and Jan hired me with the Club Doncaster Foundation to become a qualified NCS leader in October. I was so thrilled and jumped at the chance- and that is how I became a member of the NCS team. “

Hannah has become a vital part of the NCS delivery team and continues to develop throughout each programme she is involved in. She makes reference to how much she enjoys working on NCS and the opportunities it’s given her for the future. “I love being an NCS leader, it is more like a hobby than a job, and the experience is just as incredible as the first time in 2013, just different places to see and different people to share it with. I am so lucky to be a part of this team and I am treated with the same respect as all of the other leaders which I love. Also, this has been vital to my professional development as I provided a large section of my UCAS application for university and made reference to my NCS experience as a participant and more importantly a leader.”

Hannah has developed from strength to strength throughout this fantastic journey; she is the pinnacle of what we expect from our NCS participants and we are now proud to have her represent Club Doncaster Foundation.

Hayfield School Teachers and Particpants

Jim Wainman, associate Head teacher at The Hayfiled School is joining heads across the country to encourage teens in Doncaster to make the most of the school holidays, in order to get a head start in the new term and life beyond it.

Supporting views from 200 secondary school teachers across the UK as part of a study by National Citizen Service (NCS), Mr Wainman agrees that students who have tried something new during the school holidays have a more positive attitude, are often more switched on and more focused than their peers on returning to school. 

Jim Wainman supports hundreds of teachers across the country, including stars of Channel 4’s Educating the East End and Educating Essex, who are encouraging teens to reset after an intensive academic year and seek new and exciting opportunities. He recommends taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme, a two-three week programme for 15-17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland, offering fun and discovery, whilst developing skills for work and life.

Mr Wainman says: “We have always encouraged students at The Hayfield School to make the most of any opportunity that may arise that broadens their experiences and horizons. The NCS (National Citizen Service) programme does exactly this. The programme not only enables the students to develop many much needed life and work skills, it also provides them with the chance to meet different young people and have some fun during the summer holidays. What better way to come back in September fully reinvigorated and ready to start their studies afresh.

I would recommend to all young people who are eligible to participate in this programme to do so.

Recent research from NCS amongst 1,000 teens shows despite opportunities like NCS being available to them, more than four in ten students expect to run out of things to do and one in three are already experiencing “FOMO” (fear of missing out) towards their friends’ plans.  On average, teens will cost their parents more than £500 over the six week holiday period, despite planning to spend 84 hours lying in, 75 hours watching Netflix and 44 hours taking selfies.

David Bruce, a student at The Hayfield School, took part in NCS in spring and agrees it provided a fun, exciting opportunity to meet new people and learn more about the local community.

David says: “When I heard about the programme from school I thought it’d be a great 1“Not only did I feel more confident about my abilities and confident investing in school life. I met some amazing people and really did have the best summer of my life. I still carry that confidence with me due to taking part in the programme and would definitely encourage anyone that can to give it a go this summer.”

NCS is open to 15-17 year olds in England and Northern Ireland and takes place outside of term time in a two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. Teenagers on NCS build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community. The programme is recognised by UCAS and helps teens frame their skills and experiences for interviews and university applications. Government backing means that it costs £50 or less to take part, with bursaries available for those who need them.