NCS Brings Students Together Through Bug Hotel Project
The bug hotel is open for business! A group of young people completing the NCS programme with East Durham College are spending their summer holidays a little differently this year, helping to improve the college's Positive Steps nursery by implementing a new ‘bug hotel’ and improving services offered to the children.
The 16 and 17 year olds have spent three weeks bonding and learning new skills while taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.
As part of their activities they visited a local nursery at East Durham College; it was here that the students had their idea to create a social action project aimed at improving the nursery’s interactive play offerings.
The idea came about after the students learned that the children have a keen interest in insects. The students decided to create a mini beast hotel where young children could see and interact with insects, helping the children to learn more about insects, as well as having fun.
16-year-old Hayley Robinson, from Peterlee, said:
“When we were planning our project we visited the nursery that is within East Durham College and while speaking to staff we realised that they’d wanted to create a mini beast hotel for some time. We felt we could work together as a team to create this.
“We built them a ’Bugs Hotel’! The children have taken a real interest in it and the staff are really happy with the effort that we’ve all put in.”
The project was chosen for its originality, as well as its cost effectiveness. Using locally-sourced materials from Castle Eden Dene as well as team contributions, the team were able to put together the project for under £8.
A joinery lecturer from East Durham College helped the students plan the project and put it together.
Jeanine Batey from East Durham College’s nursery, said:
“We love it because at this age kids love to explore and because we have artificial grass there’s not a lot of wildlife so this is going to help attract mini beasts. This will help with the children’s knowledge and understanding of the world.”
Before completing the project the team of young people spent a week in the Scottish borders, bonding with new people and developing new skills through activities such as high ropes and canoeing.
In the North East, NSC is delivered by a partnership of V Inspired and National Youth Agencies (NYA) who work closely with local delivery providers such as East Durham College. NCS programmes cost students no more than £50 and give them the opportunity to grow and develop new skills through bonding exercises, challenges and experiences in different locations. Accommodation, travel, food and activities are all included in the NCS package, and students are able to apply for bursaries to attend an NCS programme on a case-by-case basis.
Chloe Southward, 16 and also from Peterlee, said:
“NCS has had me trying lots of new things – and I’ve been able to conquer my fear of heights too!”
Big congratulations to all of the students taking part in the project from EDC - the kids are loving the new bug hotel down in the nursery!
East Durham College offers NCS placements to young people who attend the college, as well as those who do not. They are an official local delivery partner for NCS. Students interested in the NCS programme can enquire further by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling the college on 0191 518 8220.