Jamie, 16 has spent four weeks of her summer volunteering for National Citizen Service (NCS) with Groundwork.
"I was recommended to NCS by a friend’s sister who had volunteered the year before me.
"One of the best things about joining NCS is finding out about the issues that are around. We’ve learnt more about our community and have become very close as a group. It’s great to be in an environment where you can meet people that have the same interests in the community as you so you can work together to make change.
"The first week was particularly interesting. It’s funny to think that you essentially take a group of strangers and ask them to work together – but for us it helped our team work and enabled us to get to know each other quickly and easily.
"I think that there is a worry with young people about things like exam results and how grades can hold us back – but there are resources that can help us. Some people are sorted, some people are worried and some people don’t have a clue – but that’s ok too.
"Volunteering has made me more aware of what’s around me what the issues actually are. One of the issues we’ve noticed is that there is a divide between generations with people thinking that young people are out doing ‘whatever’ and that’s not the case. We want to ensure that we are a part of the community and that people don’t just see us as just rowdy teenagers. We all want to use our time well to break down those barriers.
"Volunteering has helped me to not only feel more involved with the community but to be an active member rather than watching everyone else doing it. Young people do have a lot to give because they always have new ideas. When those ideas aren’t listened to or shouted out – they should be!"
To find out more about Groundwork’s involvement in NCS please click here.