"So I've never had that much confidence but if you sit back and think about it, how many people really do? What makes me stand out from the others and makes me different is that I recognised the issue and decided I should do something about it. "Life hasn't been an easy ride but if it was it would be boring, right? There were bound to be ups and downs, but unfortunately the downs had affected me and my confidence and self-belief. So when I was browsing YouTube one day and I saw an advert for a programme that would supposedly change my life in one summer for only £50, I had no choice but to sign up! "I was so scared before my summer residential. The thought of not knowing anyone terrified me and all the worst thoughts ran through my mind. What if they all hate me? What if they all know each other and I'm the only one on my own? "As soon as we reached the residential centre I fell in love with the whole programme. Everyone there was lovely and I immediately got thrown into activities I'd never done before, such as stand up paddle-boarding and crate stack! I made some amazing new friends and was unbelievably sad by the time Friday rolled around and we had to leave! I put in 100% effort and enthusiasm from the word go and by the time the four weeks were up my team had managed to raise over £2000 for two different local charities! "Following the summer programme I was nominated for NCS Leaders, with the comment from my graduate manager being 'Faith was always very focused and determined when it came to social action but she struggled with self-belief. NCS seemed to help her to see her worth because it celebrated her goals and efforts. She learnt that if you put a lot in you can gain a lot. Now I see a confident, head-strong young person who believes she can lead, knows she can achieve and is capable of anything'. "After two more application stages, which I managed to complete successfully, I became an NCS Leader! I was even more nervous this time but I can honestly say it was the best week of my life and I now have life-long friends and incredible memories, including visiting 10 Downing Street. My confidence has rocketed over the last few months and I'm finally starting to believe in myself and my own capability. I want to go on and inspire young people to take a huge step like I did because now I'm happier than ever. "I'm not going to pretend that NCS fixed all of my problems and my life is perfect now, because it's still far from it, but it's taught me how to cope with it and that I am strong enough to do it and even if things go a bit wrong there's always a way to recover. "I sit here now and look back to a time where I could barely hold a conversation with a family member, and then think about the weekend I've just had with NCS Action Day where I engaged in conversation with random members of the public, danced in front of complete strangers, sang at the top of my voice, brightening people's day and inspiring people to join me.
"Saying yes to NCS was the best thing I have EVER done!"
Faith created a You Tube video to highlight her experience which can be viewed by clciking here.