Jamie had just started his first year in public services with Itchen College. He started college on his own as all his friends joined different colleges which had a knock to his confidence and he found it hard to meet new people. Jason was reluctant to attend NCS as he hadn’t really done anything like this before however when he started college this year he promised himself he was to try new opportunities whether they were mandatory or not.

Before starting NCS he expressed his concerns of the program as he had never even made a cup of coffee before!


Jamie built his confidence by trying new activities that were totally out of his comfort zone. He did a kayak expedition which was a huge success and Jamie overcame lots of fears during his residential with NCS. Jason attended an employability based workshop which he seemed to find extremely useful as it gave him advice on what steps to take to obtain his dream career. When he took part in the group activities, he naturally took the leader position consulting with his team about important decisions. Through gaining more confidence on the program, he became a crucial part of the team which led to him giving a speech at graduation, showing his NCS journey. Below is some of the extract from Jamie’s graduation speech.

“Hi my name is Jamie I am a student at Itchen Sixth Form College, at which I am studying Public services and hoping to join the services in the future.

For most people delivering your first ever speech to an audience is absolutely frightening, but I felt thrilled to speak openly to you because I feel comfortable within this group even though we only knew each other for a week. After the time together I felt like we had known each other for years.

When I first got the offer of participating in NCS, my first thoughts were there’s no way I’m doing that, but since starting college I promised myself that I was going to try new opportunities whether they were voluntary or mandatory.

Its true NCS does exactly what it says on the tin, you can have friendships with people you never thought of speaking to before, because your first impressions instantly tell what you think there personality will be without even having a small conversation with them. This topic leads onto what I have overcome while experiencing NCS which is not judging a person on their personality, appearance, culture, nationality or religion. As on NCS we had an abundance of different nationalities and cultures which challenged me to speak to everyone and to enjoy myself with everyone. I believe I overcame my fear of speaking to new people because I had very intriguing conversations with many different generations at the Rosewood care home which was part of our social action for NCS. One conversation I had with one lady was that sometimes her children bring champagne as a gift for her. She then told me she had nine children and it was a sad shock to me that she couldn’t remember all their names any more. I was even more shocked that she thought Helen one of my peers from college was her daughter. Before attending Rosewood I was unaware of the difficult issue of memory loss and other disabilities facing people in later life.

In addition to our visit to Rosewood, we also went on a residential trip to Runways End in Aldershot where we took part in a wide range of activities. I had a few favourites from this experience, firstly archery because I basically thought I was Robin Hood getting 10s and 9s with ease. Also there was leadership challenges that were taxing yet so hilarious to attempt, such as the spiders web, where we physically had to pass each other through the holes in the web. The biggest surprise for me was that I could lead my team in buying, preparing and serving the group evening meal that turned out perfectly despite the fact I can’t cook myself.

Lastly, my fondest memory of everything I have experienced has to be the raft building exercise. This is because I’m pretty sure none of us are going to be structural engineers in the future, as floating debris doesn’t constitute a raft in anyone’s book.

I’ve had a fabulous time experiencing NCS with all my peers, many who have now become good friends, including the instructors. I will remember this experience as an important part of my development into an adult, and I am grateful to you for giving me this opportunity. It has been a pleasure, thank you.”