Teens tell how voluntary work boosted their skills

Sixteen-year-olds from across Furness and Millom have completed three weeks on the National Citizen Service programme and they have been carrying out 30 hours of social action.

The teenagers have been working with charities and at community events, such as assisting with programme sales and traffic management at the North Lonsdale Agricultural Show and stewarding at Kidfest.

Sammii Wright, of Barrow, completed her social action hours in just over a week.

The former St Bernard’s Catholic High School student helped out at the North Lonsdale Agricultural Show and volunteered with the British Heart Foundation Furniture Store in Barrow. She is now continuing her volunteering with the Portland Walk store.

Sammii said: “It’s great, I enjoy it. I wanted to continue because I didn’t think it was right just doing my hours and then stopping. It’s helped me stand on my own feet more. I’ve learnt about patience and talking with customers.”

This has helped Sammii with her transition into part-time work in Barrow. She will study health and social care at Barrow Sixth Form College and she then aims to study to become a midwife.

She said: “NCS has been fun, I’ve learnt new skills, made new friends and it will look good on my CV.”

Jordan Griffiths, 16, who also volunteered at the British Heart Foundation store, said: “The volunteering has been great because it has helped with my social and people skills.” The ex St Bernard’s student, of Barrow, wanted to gain more confidence and meet people from different schools before starting college.

He said: “Before I started NCS I was not very confident but through this scheme I have come out of my shell.

“I owe thanks to this course. As time has gone on I’ve got better and better through being given responsibility through volunteering.

“I also did stewarding at Kidfest and at North Lonsdale Show. I felt honoured and it makes you realise the potential you have.”

Jordan will study psychology, chemistry, law and English literature at Barrow Sixth Form College.

He would like to work in social work or social care.

Phil Hetherington, the manager of Barrow’s British Heart Foundation furniture store, said: “We rely on volunteers and Sammii and Jordan have been a very good help.”

Diane Huddart, of Inspira, which runs NCS in Cumbria, said: “Sammii and Jordan are both very motivated and conscientious. They have been very good students.”