Students at Bury College have come together to participate in the NCS (National Citizen Service) programme, developing their skills and making change in their community.

This year’s NCS students were divided into two groups, and both groups came up with their own social action project on issues that were important to them. One group created a series of Christmas cards to sell in Bury Market, raising money for St Ann’s Hospice in Little Hulton. They also ran a cake sale on the Bury College campus, using Christmas cupcakes supplied by the Catering department.

Another NCS team decided that their project would be based around raising awareness of mental health. The students created their own model of a human brain, and had balloons for various mental health issues. They handed out leaflets with information about mental health throughout Bury, and distributed surveys to help raise awareness for people suffering with mental health issues.

The NCS programme gives young people the opportunity to develop their confidence, try new things, and gain employability skills. Grace Van Der Kamp, 16, ran the mental health campaign with her group, and received special recognition from NCS for her team leading skills. The former St Monica’s R.C High School student said, “NCS was really inspiring, and it challenges how you view things. The project has helped me develop my confidence. It was nice to do things with new people and get to know people across college. I was really proud to be able to make a difference with our project.”

Andrea Plimmer, Assistant Director for Health and Social Care, said, “The students found the programme really engaging and made lots of new friends they would not normally have met. They found the online sessions with a local MP really interesting, and the session they had on Makaton sign language had a lot of them researching afterwards and interested in pursuing this further.  We definitely will be introducing other groups to the NCS programme this summer.”