NCS Volunteer Aisling’s Summer Challenge

It was a long summer for students waiting for their GCSE results.Aisling McCracken receives GCSE results

Volunteer Aisling McCracken gained nine GCSEs and also took part in the National Citizen Service (NCS).  For Aisling and those school leavers who have been busy taking part in NCS with Inspira in Cumbria the summer did not feel quite as long.

The 16-year-old NCS students spent time away from home team-building, problem solving in the outdoors, learning life skills, such as managing finances and cooking, and learning about their community, local businesses and organisations. The groups then formed a social action project and volunteered in the community.

Last week Aisling collected five As, two Bs, and two Cs in her GCSEs at St Bernard’s Catholic High School.

The student, 16, of Barrow, who was “overwhelmed” with her results, has spent the last few weeks taking part in the NCS.

Aisling described the residential week as both “fun and challenging” and a chance to “push herself.”

During the second week, the NCS groups lived together at the University of Cumbria’s Ambleside campus.

Aisling said: “It was like a university experience. We had to budget and we had to cook for each other and look at portion sizes.”

The groups planned social action projects as they had to offer 30 or more hours of voluntary work. Aisling volunteered as a marshal at Kidfest and was also getting involved at Barrow and District Disability Association. She and other students were also looking to create a project to help elderly people.

She said: “NCS has helped me gain experiences and a wide knowledge. It has really helped everyone with their teamwork and life skills.

“I’ve enjoyed making new friends and having new experiences.”

Aisling will study history, law, government and politics, and English literature at Barrow Sixth Form College from next month.