First NCS programme at Gillingham FC a complete success

Over the summer, Gillingham FC’s Community Trust delivered their first ever NCS programme to a large mixture of 15-17 year old from around Kent and Medway. 

The NCS is a government funded programme, which is aimed at providing young individuals the opportunity to contribute to their local community during their school holidays, along with learning new skills, making new friends and taking part in exciting activities along the way. 

The programme consisted of a four day residential trip to ‘Kingswood’ activity centre in the Isle of Wight. Participants were split into small groups and throughout the four days took part in a variety of different activities, which included surf boarding, a 3G swing, fencing, raft building and many more.  

This was followed by a four day home residential stay in local accommodation in Gillingham, where the participants focused more on how they could contribute to their local community through a ‘social action project’. 

During the home residential, participants would take part in different challenges which all focused on team building and improving confidence. 

One in particular was a Dragons Den style pitch, based around the teams planned community project which was delivered to members of staff from Gillingham FC Community Trust. 

The team from the Trust would then question participants on their pitch, giving positive feedback or constructive criticism which ultimately would help improve the overall delivery of their Social Action Project. 

Also during the home residential, the young learners were given the ingredients to cook their own food, visit a local museum, conduct questionnaires to members of the public based around how they would improve Medway and also cheer on the Gills at a football match.

After the residential stage of the programme, the teams spent the week at Priestfield Stadium planning their project with their team leaders. 

This was an opportunity for the students to devise individual roles for the team, liaise with the local charities and also think of fund raising options to finance their team projects. 

The final week of the programme was dedicated to the delivery of the Social Action Projects. 

The teams delivered a mixture of different projects and raised money for many charities throughout their final week. One group took part in a sponsored walk and packed bags in a supermarket to raise money for the charity MAGIC.
In total, all the groups combined managed to raise approximately £9000 for charities including Medway Food Bank, Diabetes UK, Demelza House, Magic and more.  

At the graduation, one of the learners said ‘’NCS has helped me gain confidence in myself and has allowed me to make new friends and contribute to my local community, signing up to this programme was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made."

Co-Coordinator Jay Scally also said: "We are delighted with success and work rate of this Summers Participants. 

"Throughout the programme, every individual has showed a real passion and drive to want to contribute to their local community and learn new skills which definitely showed during the teams Social Action Projects. 

"I am also delighted that Gillingham Football Club had one of the most successful turn up rates in the country. With this being our first delivery of the programme, I think that is a fantastic achievement."

Co-Coordinator Freddie Wilson followed with: "This being Gillingham FC Community Trust's first delivery of the project, a lot of pressure fell upon us to make a good first impression. 

"With the help of all the Team Leaders and staff, along with the excellent drive of the participants, I feel we have done a great job in helping the young students embark on a new and exciting journey and gave them a Summer that hopefully they will never forget.

"We are very proud of all the NCS participants for their hard work over the summer and for the incredible amount of money they have raised for the charities of their choice."

We hope all the participants enjoyed their time with us over the summer, and we wish them all the best for the future.