NCS: Bringing younger and older generations together

This summer a group of eight young adults on the National Citizen Service (NCS) with Argyle Community Trust, developed a social action project that will leave a positive and everlasting impact on the older generation of their community.

After embarking on a journey of personal development and team based participation, where comfort zones were stretched and friendships flourished, the team of young people based at Carn Brea in Plymouth cultivated an ambition to create a valuable social action project to help the older generation.

They wanted to show that, as younger people, they still value and respect their elders.

The perception that certain older members of the community are forgotten when placed in care homes was the golden thread that brought them together. This collective vision subsequently brought about the initial stages of ‘The Memory Garden Project’. To generate a safe and vibrant place that would bring comfort and joy to residents. A location where family and friends could visit and re-live all those fond and cherished memories.

The team found a very willing and grateful partner in St Martins Care Home in Camborne. This local care home takes immense pride in their work and does an amazing job caring for its residents. However, a communal area situated in the centre of the building, was in need of some TLC. St Martins looks after patients that have Alzheimer’s and Dementia, and this resonated with the team on a personal level.

The team worked incredibly hard raising money in their planning stage and generated a staggering £613. Their aim was to regenerate the communal area and give something back to an establishment that does so much. Although the money raised enabled the team to provide various practical items, such as storage space, seated arbours and decorative hanging baskets, the most significant donation was their determination and hard work.

Craig Tanner, Team Leader said: “It has been a privilege to watch this group of individuals develop and challenge themselves. The change within the team has been truly inspiring.

”They have worked incredibly hard to make this happen and to see their faces on completion was a proud moment. I wish them the best of luck in their future aspirations and can’t wait to see them graduate in October.”

This hard work has also been recognised in Plymouth by the local community and more specifically the local MP. George Eustice visited St Martins to show his appreciation of the brilliant work undertaken. The team radiated with pride and spoke enthusiastically about the work they had done. This was backed up by glorious praise given to the team regularly by both staff and residents at St Martin.

John Bulley St Martins (Cornwall Care) said: “We are so very grateful that the NCS team came around and regenerated one of our Gardens at St Martins Residential Home. It has been a huge relief, and our residents very much appreciate what they have done for them and our staff.

”It was great to see the residents take in what was happening, we at St Martins from Staff to residents and Visitors were overwhelmed by the work ethos from your young people and staff who came here from raising the money to organising the work and behaving like grown-ups, and being 100% professional at all times.”

The team have now completed their National Citizen Service programme and are now moving on to future endeavours. They have developed as people and obtained valuable life skills to take forward that can be applied not only within future education, but also when they venture into employment.

To find out more about NCS visit:

“It was an unforgettable, once in a lifetime experience”

10 NCS graduates from EFL Trust’s network attended the Passchendaele commemoration event.

The event marked 100 years since the World War One ‘Battle of Passchendaele’, which led to an estimated 250,000 British and Commonwealth casualties. Our graduates involved were;

Max Barnett (Grimsby)
Edward Ross (Beverley) 
Michael Hoodless (Hull) 
Sarah Newsome (Barnsley)
Libby Smith (Doncaster)
Cheyenne Van Den Berg (Sheffield)
Emily Coulter (Huddersfield)
Annie Caddle (Portsmouth)
Marley Callway (Portsmouth) 
Aaron Metcalfe (Hartlepool)

They were part of 100 NCS grads that were invited by the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media and Sport) to attend the UK ceremony of remembrance in Belgium on the 30th and 31st July. The event was attended by over 4,000 people which included members of the Royal Family, Prince Charles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) and Prime Minister Theresa May.

During the two days of commemoration, our grads took on important roles at the four main events; Menin Gate, Cloth Hall, Passchendaele Memorial Park and Tyne Cot Cemetery.

NCS graduate Edward, had the honour of passing the wreath over to the country’s ambassador, whilst graudates Cheyenne and Sarah had the opportunity of meeting and greeting the Prime Minister and William and Kate.

Max from Grimsby and Libby from Doncaster, had exciting roles escorting descendants and forming a guard of honour for the Royal Family. They also had time in front of the camera and other media duties such as interviews live on BBC News and BBC Radio Sheffield.

Max had his own family connection with the event after finding out that his Great, Great Grandma’s cousin, Earnest Cooper, died in the Battle of Passchendaele.

He said, “It’s been very warming to hear everyone’s story, I have my own story but it doesn’t compare to some of the people I have met.’”

Libby described her experience as unforgettable, “It was just an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience. It was so much better than I expected and I was unaware of how big the event really was, and how essential the role NCS graduates had to support the event.

“In my role over the weekend I was able to meet the royals and speak with the ministry of defence. We had the opportunity of visiting the front line and walking through no man’s land, which was spectacular. It’s something I will never forget.”

This fantastic experience was only available to NCS graduates. They were able to carry skills from their time on NCS and thereafter feel confident about representing their generation at such an important national event.

Michael Lynas, CEO of NCS Trust, said: “100 NCS graduates were honoured to serve our country at the Centenary of Passchendaele events. I am proud of how these young people represented their generation as they met descendants, the Royal Family and the Prime Minister.

“I know that these young NCS graduates will help ensure that the sacrifice of the fallen will be remembered for generations to come.”

To find out more about the National Citizen Service visit: