"As we close in on Summer 2018 and our biggest year of NCS delivery so far, I thought I would take this opportunity to share some of my favourite NCS moments from my last 4 years on the programme. There are so many to choose from but here are some of the highlights:

"Pedal Power – My team during Summer 2016 chose to raise funds to buy equipment for local art therapy charity, Art Shape. They did a sponsored cycle on static bikes on Eastgate Street in Gloucester, cycling over 800 miles. The sun was shining, the group were energetic and the public were really happy to contribute to such a worthy cause. The only downside was the slightly sore bums! That event, combined with an afternoon tea, raised over £1000!

"Fashion Police – Another moment from 2016, this time during Week two. We were on residential in the Forest of Dean and on our last night, we were having a BBQ and campfire. During the day, the young people had taken part in a session about positive body image. One of the members of staff was teasing another member of staff about her clothes (she was wearing sports leggings, long white socks pulled all the way up and a bright yellow t-shirt so…understandable J). She pulled her onto a log and got the young people to comment on the outfit, to which they responded “she can wear what she wants” and “why does it matter?” – it was a fab demonstration of them using some of the messages we had tried to share in a real world situation. Plus, BBQ food and marshmallows!

"Word of the Day – During week one, there can be some tough moments as the group get to know each other. The group I had in 2015 were amazing and got comfortable with each other so quickly. I am a bit of a word-nerd (or bibliophile… wink wink) and they loved some of the words I used so we started a “word of day” session. I remember fondly sitting in the sunshine with them, sharing my favourite words such as “defenestrate”, “obsequious”, “susurrus” and “mizzle” and challenging them to use them in conversation with me that day.

"Nowhere I would rather be – back in Summer 2014, my NCS team and I were on residential in beautiful Pembrokeshire. The sun was shining and it was time for the canoeing challenge! We jumped into our canoes and started paddling, at times struggling to go in a straight line. Just as we paddled under the striking Cleddau Bridge, a spontaneous sing along began, starting with Clean Bandit’s Rather Be. For those of you who don’t know it, one of the lyrics is “We're a thousand miles from comfort, we have travelled land and sea, but as long as you are with me, there's no place I'd rather be” – fairly fitting considering the ethos of NCS and building teams from groups of strangers.

"There you go, just a couple of my favourite moments. Hard to choose just a few, having worked with so many amazing young people over the last few weeks but I cannot wait to see more memories being made with over 1000 young people this summer."

It's not too late to sign up and join us for summer 2018 - hurry and grab one of our few remaining places.