Sixteen Bolton School students proudly “graduated” at a ceremony held at Bolton Victoria Hall and hosted by theÂ Lads and Girls’ Club on 19 October to mark their completion of the National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme.Â This new initiative supports the Government’s vision for building a Big Society and was open to Year 11 pupils over the summer holidays.Â It offered pupils the chance to learn some new skills and to make a real difference to their community or an issue which they care about whilst meeting new people.
Over a period of three one- week blocks, including two weeks away from home, and 30 hours of service on a part-time basis the students undertook exciting outdoor activities and designed and delivered their own project in the local community.
Bolton was one of 12 pilot areas outside London to take part in the NCS schemeÂ and the Lads and Girls’ Club oversawÂ 235 Year 11 pupils whoÂ took part in the project.
Olivia Davidson, now in the Sixth Form at Bolton School, made it on to the Oxfam website after she inspired an Oxfam worker as she worked on an Oxfam stall at Bolton’s Big Weekend Event.Â Livvy, as she likes be known, said: “We planned a really cool Oxfam tent which got people painting, sticking and eating so that they could learn more about world hunger as part of Oxfam’s Grow Campaign.”Â The group with which she worked had also managed to publicise the event through Bolton FM.Â She went on to say: “It’s been really good doing this – at the beginning I was worried we would be treated like babies – but they’ve really worked with us so that we can make our own decisions and plan our own things and it’s really been fun.Â I would definitely carry on doing stuff with Oxfam.Â Doing this work has shown me how important it is for someone to do something to change the world!”
Adam Woolley spent a week at Patterdale Hall, Bolton School’s Outdoor Pursuits Centre, bonding with his group through gorge walking and other exciting activities.Â The group then spent a week in the Halls of Residence at the University of Bolton, the highlight of which was a Come Dine With Me challenge which saw them preparing a three course meal for 20 people.Â His social action project also saw his group utilising the Bolton’s Big Weekend event as they sought to raise awareness of Oxfam’s Grow Campaign.Â Looking back, Adam reflected: “I have now realised the value of voluntary social action, and how enriching that is.Â I hope to volunteer with Bolton Lads and Girls’ Club in future.”
Community Coordinator:Â Heather Tunstall