This summer’s NCS programme is drawing to a close this week, having engaged 27 young people for a combined total of 1,097 hours.
In light of Covid-19, the ‘usual’ NCS programme had a rewrite, and participants were encouraged to look at ways they can help combat loneliness in Doncaster, as part of the EFL’s Tackling Loneliness Together project.
Participants prepared wellbeing packs which included food items, games and puzzles, and made befriending phone calls to people who had signed up to the project.
Demi, aged 17, said: “I’ve definitely grown my confidence during the programme, having spoken to Doncaster residents on the phone which has also made me more aware of the issue of loneliness in the area.
“Before starting the programme, I wanted to meet new people in a safe environment and build up my confidence- I definitely feel like I’ve achieved that!
“It has made me appreciate things a lot more, and I’ve really enjoyed being part of the programme.”
Tom Foy, NCS programme manager at the Foundation, has praised this year’s initiative, and how the programme has evolved during the pandemic.
He said: “As everyone is aware, it’s been a bit of a different project this year, but the participants have really thrown themselves into it and have given us some fantastic feedback.
“Being able to help tackle the issue of loneliness, which has only worsened through the pandemic, has been rewarding for everyone, and seeing people develop confidence as they progress has been a really good feeling.
“Hopefully they’ve been inspired to continue their work in community local action in the future!”
The NCS team are now busy planning the next programme for later this year.
You can find out more about NCS, here.