Oliver's story

Oliver header

"I found out about NCS through some friends in Manchester and that same week I got a text from my local youth centre asking if I wanted to take part.

I didn't have anything planned for the Summer so I applied. I hardly knew anyone when I arrived, and I felt a bit awkward but within a few hours I had made friends.

My favourite part of the first NCS phase was Jacob's Ladder. The challenge was to get all three people in your team to the top of this massive ladder - and we did it! Not only were we the only group to get to the top, but I also conquered my fear of heights. Before I was scared of going on rollercoasters, but now I love them!

The Team Leaders were awesome and by the second phase we all knew each other well. We had some massive water fights and even got to meet the person in charge of props at the Harry Potter studios.

Our social action project involved working with Watford Wildlife Centre. We created snake incubators by digging trenches and making mazes underneath before covering them with bark. We also did litter picking, painted new rails, trimmed hedges and even caught butterflies as part of a nature survey.

If I was to give advice to anyone thinking about NCS I would say - do it. It's awesome and you make a lot of friends. My group of mates has grown and I'm always out with them now.

I would also say - don't over pack your suitcase, as I learnt that the hard way. And take loads of sweets - you'll be instantly popular!"