“Hi my name is Patsy, I started working for Young Gloucestershire as an National Citizen Service (NCS) Administrator in May during my summer break from studying French at The University of Bristol. I’ve previously worked in lots of temporary admin roles, but working with YG is like nothing I’ve done before!

“My role had been to help plan and deliver the National Citizen Service Programme for over 1,000 young people across Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire this summer. With so many young people taking part in NCS, it’s important to make sure that they and their parents/ guardians are up to date with everything, from medical forms to merchandise. This means the NCS staff team have been dealing with hundreds of phone calls and emails each week. I’ve also been involved in the recruitment of our seasonal staff; running interviews and processing lots of paperwork to get our delivery workers ready for the four week programmes. With so much to do, no two days are the same; it certainly isn’t your average desk job.  My day could involve anything from processing DBS applications to looking after Buddy, YG’s therapy-dog-in-training.

“The thing that I’ve enjoyed most about my role has been the opportunity to meet and talk with lots of different people, including young people taking part in NCS. I was really happy to get away from my desk for a week and work with an NCS team on their social action project. One thing NCS certainly does is push young people out of their comfort zone. I must admit that even I was a little nervous to join in! I was joining the group two weeks into their programme so I was very much an outsider. The team had already been on 2 residential trips together including an adventure week in Devon which saw them bond over the challenge activities they faced.

“I surprised myself though, by getting stuck in straight away with the team’s social action project. As well as fundraising for two local charities the team provided activities and entertainment to a charity drop-in centre for people with cancer; which included redecorating a therapy room, bingo games, arts and crafts, a family fun quiz and of course lots of tea and cake. It was so rewarding to be part of their journey and in the short time that I spent with both their and my confidence soared as we realised just how much we could all achieve if we worked together and put our minds to it. The young people were really inspiring.

“It’s also been really interesting to learn more about Young Gloucestershire’s work outside of NCS, whether that’s the delivery of group development programmes or the more individual support like mentoring that YG provide. Young Gloucestershire also provide plenty of support to their staff, meaning that I’ve been able to grow in confidence. I have learnt about the importance of wellbeing and self-care at work and experimented with different working styles to find out what suits me.

“Working closely with all the different departments at YG has helped me understand more about youth work and its role in society as well as the behind the scenes work that goes into running a charity, inspiring me to change my university course to Social Policy and Management; something I’ve always been passionate about but never had the confidence to pursue until now.

“We are now at the end of NCS and currently preparing for our graduation event where our NCS graduates can reunite and celebrate with their teams as well as showing family and friends the amazing things they’ve achieved over the summer. I’ve been busy sending out invites as well as sourcing glitter paint supplies and photo booth props. I’ve learnt so much this summer, not only about NCS, but also the other work that Young Gloucestershire do to support young people. It will be bittersweet to leave Young Gloucestershire once summer is finished, I really will miss everybody and although I’m looking forward to returning to Bristol for my new course I know I probably wouldn’t be doing it without everything that I’ve learned and achieved here.”