NCS says yes to the countryside

Published on 24 Feb 2016

The Big Conservation: Event organiser, Alexa-Jane Moore, with Worcester MP, Robin Walker

The group of 15-17 year olds are taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a national programme being delivered to young people in the region by Advanced Personnel Management (APM).

NCS is a key way of engaging young people in employment and personal development activities post-GCSE, equipping them with the skills to progress in life and in work.

Participants were given the opportunity to build bird and bat boxes as part of their contribution to National Nest Boxing week.

Guidance in building the boxes was given by members of the Worcester Roots Foundation who have their base at the nature reserve.

The charity was set up to raise awareness of environmental, social and economic sustainability through the actions of young people.

A BBC Springwatch camera team turned up to film the young people making the boxes.

NCS Engagement Coordinator, Alexa-Jane Moore, said: "Everyone enjoyed themselves tremendously and valued being out in the fresh air as many of the young people live in cities, so to get them out into nature and the environment is something a little bit different."

The value of the NCS programme to these young people was summed up by APM's Director of Employment Services, Steve Hart: "Our delivery of NCS in the spring means 200 young people get an amazing experience; in the summer it's three thousand, with another thousand in the autumn.

"From what I have seen this has been an amazing experience. We owe it to ourselves to get into as many schools and colleges as we can, in front of as many young people as we can, signing them up to our summer programme so that they can have the same experience."

MP for Worcester, Robin Walker, paid a visit on the day, he said: "NCS is a brilliant scheme, It's wonderful to see young people enjoying their National Citizen Service and working together to deliver some great voluntary projects. I was really impressed by the positive energy of the group and the way in which they were all mucking in with the tasks.

"It was also good to see Worcester Roots supporting this initiative and delivering useful activities for the group so that they could get a taste for volunteering whilst contributing to facilities at the Fold for the public to enjoy and to improve the environment.

"As a Robin I'm always pleased to see people putting out bird boxes!"