Hello, it is time for me to check in with you all again! I’d like to tell you about our work with NCS The Challenge over the past few months.
Another year, another summer and another extremely beneficial partnership with NCS The Challenge. This is our third year working with The Challenge across the East London Boroughs, as either part of the Team Challenge, the Social Action Challenge, or both in some boroughs.
NCS is a government-funded initiative that supports community engagement, social action and social mixing among young people. We have worked with over 65 young people and staff, and in total have taken part in 18 different sessions in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest. We provided the young people with basic vision impairment awareness training in order for them to feel comfortable and confident in assisting vision impaired people.The young people volunteered with us in September where they gave up their Saturday or Sunday to assist with events, which ranged from a multi sports day, to tandem cycling, to preparing lunch and entertainment.
At the end of their volunteering day, one Young person said: “I’ve really enjoyed today and would feel confident in helping a vision impaired person in the future.”
Also as part of The Social Action Challenge, the young people fund-raised for the local voluntary organisation for vision impaired people in each borough that they had worked with. The funds raised will help each organisation to continue providing a wide range of activities for blind and partially sighted people.
As part of the young people’s skills visit in Newham, drama went down a treat with all involved, allowing an excellent opportunity for everyone to work together on a drama piece.
One Participant who attended the Redbridge event said: “What an extremely lovely bunch of young people, so polite, helpful and full of energy.”
Some of the young people’s campaign days fell during National Eye Health Week (21-27 September). They were keen to ensure their campaign took this in to account and promoted the benefits of keeping your eyes healthy and having regular eye tests. They also used various resources that we provided, to show the general public the 6 most common eye conditions using simulation spectacles.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with all the staff and young people from The Challenge over the summer, each year is completely different, but equally exciting. It is a great partnership, which is not only beneficial to us as an organisation, but allows young people to engage with their local community and gain new skills such as vision impairment awareness.
We look forward to working with the NCS programme again in 2016!!
Have a good few weeks until next time!:)