Working with NCS The Challenge in Leeds
This summer has been is the first time that I’ve worked with NCS The Challenge. I joined their seasonal staff team as an Enterprise skills practitioner. It’s been a fair few years since I’ve taught anything to do with enterprise and I’d hoped to teach art, but alas, there was no art category to select in Yorkshire. So off I toddled to Leeds on my first day with a notebook full of ideas about how to try and convince 15-17 year olds that it could be just as fun to spend three days working on an enterprise project as it would be to work on a project in one of the other five areas offered by NCS (Photography, Media, Sport, Drama and Music.)
To my surprise, they took little to no convincing at all! My first group were so keen and engaged and it was fab working with them. Over the next month, I worked with six groups in total, spending three days with each new ‘wave’ of teenagers. Some arrived really enthused and ready to get going, some needed nudging into productivity, one or two needed a fair amount of persuading. But all of them took part in the three day sessions, contributing ideas, learning about enterprise skills, visiting various community partners in Leeds* and finishing by organising and performing in a wonderful showcase where each group presented what they’d learned and done over the previous days.
It was a lovely project all in all. A couple of hiccups, as is to be expected, but I had a the pleasure of working with some great folk and some really fantastic young people (including several groups who made me lovely thank you cards that made me very soppy).
*Including a sports day for Roma children, a BHI day centre, a drop in centre for teenagers in Leeds city centre, a summer school for 4-11 year olds and two residential care homes.