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NCS Graduates spread festive cheer in Leicestershire and Warwickshire

Since completing the NCS Programme in 2020, many of our graduates from across Leicester, Leicestershire, Coventry, and Warwickshire have chosen to continue their NCS journey, and extend their commitment to doing good in their communities, by joining their NCS Local Action Group. Our Local Action Groups come together twice a month to pioneer youth social action in their local area by planning and organising various social action projects throughout the year that intend to challenges social issues that affect their communities.

In December, our Local Action Group in the West Midlands wanted to target the isolation and loneliness that many individuals were feeling during the holiday period. Across the UK (and the world!) people celebrated Christmas very differently last year, perhaps spending the day by themselves for the first time. As a team, they wanted to do their bit to try and challenge these negative feelings. In particular, they wanted to spread some Christmas joy to those in care, who may not have been able to see their family, friends or loved ones for many months. They quickly set to work on arranging some Christmas themed social action, with the intention of spreading some holiday fun and kindness to the residents at Overslade House Care Home in Rugby and the patients on the Victoria Ward at Warwick Hospital, by sending them some Christmas care packages.

Between them, the Local Action Group raised £195 to pay for the supplies for their Christmas packages. Each package contained a candy cane, tea light, Christmas pen, hot chocolate, scented hand cream, tree decoration, and of course a paper crown. The young people also worked together to design their own Christmas activity book that accompanied each package. The book included a letter from the young people, and holiday themed jokes, crosswords, colouring pages, word searches and more.

After receiving the packages, the manager at Overslade House said,

“A massive thank you to the Local Action Group for putting together these Christmas goodies for our residents. We are so overwhelmed with the amount of love we’ve received over the Christmas Period”.

In Leicester city and county, our Local Action Group also felt particularly passionate about offering some intergenerational support and friendship to those who live in care after having completing some research into the high rates of loneliness and depression experienced by the elderly.

Using virtual meetings to plan their project, the group decided to write their own personalised cards and letters to send to the residents at South Lodge Care Home in Oadby. The letters were beautifully crafted, containing drawings, poems, positive words and some were even written in calligraphy! Alongside this, the young people also worked together to film and edit a video for the residents of South Lodge to watch on Christmas day. In the video, they explained who they were, and shared individual festive messages for the residents and staff. The Local Action Group hoped the video would add a personal touch to accompany their letters, as the residents and staff would be able to see and hear them, and feel the joy and warmth the young people were intending to share.

This New Year, our Local Action Groups hope to review new and existing issues in their local area that they can help to address through action and change. They are on the lookout for a problem that is calling for a solution! If you know of a project or opportunity that our Local Action Groups could support within Leicester, Leicestershire, Coventry or Rugby, we would love to hear from you. Please contact nasreen.hajat@leics-ebc.org.uk for further information.