For me, signing up for NCS was a spontaneous decision and, as anyone who knows me will tell you, I’m not a spontaneous person. I used to be quiet, shy, and the least likely to ever step out of my comfort zone.

Fast forward a few months (and a million life-changing experiences later) and I am now more confident than I could ever have dreamt of being. In the months after starting my NCS journey, I said ‘yes’ to any new challenges that came my way and gained a lot of valuable experiences along the way.

Perhaps the most important thing I’ve gained out of becoming an NCS graduate is the opportunity to be a member of the Regional Youth Board for the East Midlands. Being part of the Board has opened so many doors for me following my NCS in summer 2016 - at first, I was nervous to meet the other members, but now I can honestly say they are some of the nicest people ever and it was a pleasure to meet them all. It was surprising how easy I found it to contribute to conversation and group discussions - everyone’s voices and opinions were heard and taken into consideration. 

With my role on the Regional Youth Board, I have gained something very valuable - the chance to make a difference, both in my local community and on a wider scale. During our last meeting, the Youth Board decided that we were going to focus on mental health issues so we are currently planning activities and events for this year’s NCS Action Day on 18th March, and throughout the week after. So far, being on the Youth Board has been an amazing experience and one that I would not have had access to were it not for NCS. I'm looking forward to working further with the other Board members to have our voices heard and instil more positive change within the East Midlands. NCS has given me so much - now I can’t wait to give back!

Kayleigh, NCS graduate from Summer 2016.