Bingley Grammar School

Students Excel on National Citizen Service

8 - Georgia57 Bingley Grammar students stepped outside their comfort zone this summer and onto the government-backed National Citizen Service (NCS).

46 students leaving Yr 11 and 11 students finishing Yr 12 decided to step up to take on a series of personal, team and community challenges.

The students were split into different teams doing the programme on separate dates, getting the chance to make new friends with peers from schools and colleges across Bradford. The three-stage part-residential programme sees students go from outdoor activity challenges to skills training and community group volunteering, ending with the design and delivery of a community action project.

Having now graduated, each student has received a certificate signed by the Prime Minister, and gained access to exclusive opportunities with The Challenge Society.

A number of Bingley Grammar students were involved in NCS events that were attended by local Bradford MPs, who were thrilled by participants’ commitment and achievements.

2 - Judith Cummins City Hall 1Abidah Akther, Cameron Wilson and Josh Hutton were part of a team visited by Judith Cummins MP (Bradford South) during their social action day at City Hall. Josh played a key role in hosting the MP and was featured on p. 6 of the Telegraph & Argus!

The team was paired with Why Don’t We, a charity providing creative training opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Why Don’t We group members had chosen objects from Bradford Museums’ stores to be displayed at City Hall. Josh, Cameron, Abidah and their NCS teammates were briefed to support the group to engage with visitors on an open day for the public.

3 - Josh T&AThe team met with the Why Don’t We group in advance and came up with successful ideas for the day such as creating branded ‘Why Don’t We’ t-shirts, to the delight of the group. Some NCS participants wore the t-shirts too, while others donned their NCS t-shirts, blending the two groups to create a cohesive collective representing both projects.

Judith Cummins thoroughly enjoyed getting to know both groups, saying:

“It was a lovely afternoon. One of the [NCS] team members said he was quite shy and that’s the reason he had put his name forward to be part of NCS. He said he had no problem speaking in public now. They were just great. I’m really, really proud of them all and they should be proud of themselves.”

4 - Judith Cummins City Hall 2Ollie Gregory, NCS Senior Mentor for the team, agreed:

"The team really seemed to enjoy meeting with Judith Cummins MP and there have been some great relationships formed between the NCS and Why Don't We groups. The NCS team have been incredibly mature the whole way through and they've got a lot out of it. I've seen some of the more quiet members talking with members of the public which has been really nice to see as well!"

5 - Shomana with Philip DaviesShomana Begum and her NCS team successfully pitched their community project to a Dragons Den style panel that included Bingley Grammar School’s local MP, Philip Davies (Shipley).  The team had been briefed by Neighbourhood Hub Bradford South and Shomana played an active role in delivering a moving and passionate pitch, leading the Dragons to allocate a full £50 funding for the team to turn their ideas into real social action.

6 - Adam Conor ShowcaseAdam Dziedzic and Conor Rankin were part of a Showcase Event, at the end of the first two weeks of their NCS experience, that was opened by Imran Hussain MP.

The Bradford East MP was highly impressed with the teams’ achievements, saying:

“It is a great privilege to stand alongside these inspiring young people who are organising countless projects in our City to make life better for some of the more disadvantaged citizens of Bradford.

“I am incredibly happy that this programme is expanding which will give more of our young people the opportunity to experience volunteering within their own community and meeting and socialising with people from different communities.”

We have been hearing great things from Bingley Grammar’s NCS graduates, including Georgia Holroyd who told us,

“I learnt how to better work as a team and had the chance to form friendships with amazing people. I’m most proud of my team and all we accomplished. We created a sensory garden for people with learning disabilities and autism. The group was extremely happy with the work we did and said we changed their lives in a positive way! I would highly recommend NCS!”

These students were among 2000+ 16/17 year old’s who took part in NCS in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield, and among 40,000+ who took part across England with national charity The Challenge, the country’s largest NCS provider.

To find out more, visit ncsthechallenge.org, and to see the opportunities students get access to after completing NCS, visit tcsyorkshire.org.

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