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The NCS Voice of the Community Written by the NCS Students from East Cleveland, Redcar, Middlesbrough, Stockton & Whitby.

www.facebook.com/ncsimagineyoucan www.imagineyoucan.tv

Voice of the Community



What is National Citizen Service?

he National Citizen Service, or NCS, is a government funded project open to all 16 to 17 year olds. There are several different phases to help give young people the chance to gain real life experience in communication skills, team work, business skills and also meet and help their local community. There is an outward-bound residential where the main focus is on team building and outdoor activities such as Ghyl Scrambling, Rock Climbing, Canoeing, Raft Building, Bush Craft and Survival Techniques. This is followed by a local residential which is media and business based so young people can meet with local businesses and run media based activities such as Journalism, Filming, Editing, Camera skills, Interview skills, Drama, CV building and develop a social action project for your local community. The final part is the graduation event where you can invite your family, friends and businesses to see all the great things you did along the way and receive a certificate acknowledging your work on the programme signed by the prime minster. Imagine You Can is a local delivery partner in Teesside and East Cleveland and along with Coastal View, gave their students the chance to speak out about things that are important to them and show everyone how we spent our summer doing something beneficial for the area – giving us a real voice in the community. If you are interested in future projects the autumn 2013 NCS starts on October 29th followed by projects in spring, summer and autumn in 2014. To apply contact us on 07976 207008 or apply online at www.imagineyoucan.tv/ncs/index.php Also check out our Facebook page where you can see what everyone got up to in the summer of 2013 www.facebook.com/ncsimagineyoucan

Away residential

Tree Climbing

NCS has taught me so much…

By Bethany Hunter


By Coral Daniels

CS has taught me so much. Not just media skills, but how to work well with complete strangers. When arriving at Deneholme I knew no-one. Now everyone’s just like one big familyworking in teams in many activities. Even though people, have at times been afraid of certain tasks everyone has given it their best shot and have at least tried their best at the activities, with tons of support from their new friends. Originally I just wanted to write and interview people, but on the first day, the team leader told the media group the importance


ot being a very ‘outdoorsy’ person, I never had any intention of doing most of the outdoor activities. So, you can imagine my surprise when I found myself volunteering to do the tree climb – all 60 feet of it… Straight away, I could feel myself burning up with fear. Watching people scale up the tree, I could feel myself getting nervous. Eventually, I was the last person left and I knew that if I didn’t go for it, I would be kicking myself forever. I’d only just got off the ladder and onto the start of the rungs, but I was already shaking. I thought that I was either going to fall and slip, or he would have to slowly lower me down because I was that terrified. However, I knew that I couldn’t stop and if NCS has taught me anything, it is to never give up. I’d started something and I needed to finish it, or I would be so angry at myself. I focussed on the top and eventually, I reached the top. I’d pushed myself more than I’d ever pushed before - and it had paid off.

of capturing a good photograph and how it will be used in the newspaper at the end of the project. After a few days I began to really enjoy catching the excitement and fear of everyone on film and I’ve improved so much. Most of my pictures turned out really well which helped me realise that photography can be interesting and it gives you a whole new perspective on situations. In just one week NCS has taught me much more than school could - not academically, but in life and social skills.

Ghyll scrambling By Josh Davis

Week 1 Summary By Bethany Hunter


t’s not that I wasn’t looking forward to my NCS experience; it’s just that I had spent the last few months imagining that being in the middle of nowhere wasn’t the ideal way to spend my summer. However, I can honestly say that I was wrong. The day time activities were fantastic. We took part in Ghyll Scrambling, Tree climbing and canoeing, and more. I went there with the mind set of staying behind doing media when everyone else went on their outdoor activities because I am not an outdoorsy person and ended up actually volunteering to do all the activities - I saw how much fun

everyone else was having and I wanted to take part with my newly found friends! The after dinner activities were also really interesting - I was assigned as editor in the media team and we learnt the importance of capturing a good photograph, how to write professional articles and how to create good news stories. So far, my NCS experience has been brilliant, and I can safely say that my presumptions about what the week was going to be like have so far been 100% wrong: and things look to stay that way!


don’t often take risks so when ‘ghyll scrambling’ appeared on the activity list I began to worry - but I knew I had to step out of my comfort zone. We were immediately greeted by a large waterfall and at this point I said to myself: “This might not be so bad.” We came to the top of another waterfall, to which the guide proceeded to jump off! I’m a little scared to jump off of a three foot ledge - never mind a six foot one. I got to the ledge and as I said to myself: “I’m not doing it,” then I jumped.

Luckily the first waterfall was over quickly and we could move on to what was ‘the big finale’. It was another jump - but instead of a six foot waterfall drop, it was 18 foot! As I stepped up to the ledge I panicked, but I knew if I didn’t do it I would regret it. This was the time to prove that I could do something dangerous and that I can take risks. When I look back on this moment I can happily say that NCS changed my life.

Voice of the Community


Home residential Leeds Rhinos’ Coach wows students with motivational speech T

“If you put your mind to something and fail, it hurts. But if you put your mind to something and succeed, every ounce of pain was worth it.”

By Chloe & Chelsea

his was the theme for a motivational speech by Leeds Rhino head coach Brian McDermott. Brian explained a theory, that anyone can apply to their hobby or passion; dedicate ten thousand hours (realistically 4 hours a day, 5 times a week for 10 years) to that subject and you will most likely become world class at it. He spoke about how the ages 16-20 are the most exciting and critical years in a person’s life, whilst encouraging the teens to pursue their own goals regardless of fear of failure and other obstacles that threaten to get in the way e.g.; money, peer pressure or expectations. ‘Find what you are good at and go for it and you are guaranteed to reach your goals. Nobody ever changed the world by staying in their comfort zone.’ Before his successful rugby and captain career, Brain McDermott was a Royal Marine. He spoke about how being a

Royal Marine has made him a better judge of character and, although he was unsure if his time in the marines had made him a better person, he admitted to overall becoming more humble during this time. After leaving the marines he had a trial game for a professional rugby club and began working incredibly hard to create the successful career he has today. He went on to play for Bradford Bulls for 10 years and won Challenge Cups and Super League Grand Finals as well as representing his country. As a rugby player the fear of failure was a large motivation for Brian as he wanted to overcome this and achieve his goals. This did not change when he became a coach; Brian still wished to beat his fear of failing. However, he was also motivated, as the leader, to do well for his team. He started his coaching career as an assistant coach at

Huddersfield Giants and Leeds Rhinos before moving on to the head coach role at Harlequins. He them moved back to Leeds Rhinos as head coach where he won the Super League Grand Finals in 2011 and 2012 and the World Club Challenge against Australia’s Manley Sea Eagles. When asked how it felt to become the first English coach to win back – toback Super League Grand Finals, Brian immediately replied with ‘special’ and ‘not easily done’. He says now he has his own personal goal to be the first team coach to win 3 in a row! Brian said he believes both him and his team have a high presence in the community. By working with people in the community, the team is able to give something back. He and his team attend functions, visit schools, and many players also attend the openings of new businesses.

Father Adam Gaunt


ather Adam Gaunt MA, a reverend at Loftus church who was born into a working class background in Berwick Hills and grew up in Brotton. His first school was Badger Hill Primary and he explained how he enjoyed his school

life. He said that he first got ‘the calling’ when he was five years old and realised that his ambition in life was to become a vicar. When speaking about his childhood, he said he felt very proud of where he comes from and wouldn’t ever change it. At Prior Pursglove, he studied three A-levels: history, sociology and theology, where he achieved a B in all three, before going to St John’s College in Durham. He strongly recommends taking at least five minutes of your day to sit and think about things, as we all lead busy lives but should take some time out for ourselves. Once he had finished his Masters degree he went on to work with the Vicar in Brambles Farm, which moved him, as the people that lived there were lovely. After a tough 48 hour interview to become a vicar, he was accepted,

and had to get a Diploma in Ministry. This led him to studying in St.Stephen’s House at Oxford University for two years. At his time at Oxford University he became the President of the common room, and also a part of the Government Body of the University. In ten years time he says he is not bothered where he is, it’s where God wants him to be.. He believes young people should be getting more involved within their community, as it is their community as well. He strongly believes in young people helping out in their community because if young people don’t speak up then it’s the old people who get what they want. He finished off by saying: “You are who you are and don’t pretend to be someone different. We all have dreams no matter how big or small. As long as it feels right and you enjoy it, take it with both hands.”

Ricky Stevenson By Mikayla & Jamie


t a young age ex Bydales student Ricky Stevenson wanted to become a footballer and his teacher suggested he started running to improve his football. When he started running he found out he was good at it and then joined a running club and

competed in the English Schools cross country championship final. In only his second ever final, he passed his teachers expectations and finished second out of 1500 people. He was the first person to represent England twice at the age of 16 and in 2010 he ran the 200m for the under 20’s and became top in the UK for under 20, as well as being the best in Europe for the1500m for the under 20’s. He competed against Mo Farah in a short distance race a year later and won. He said that running with people he had admired for years gave him a huge confidence boost. In 2012 Ricky went to Kenya for eight weeks to train at high altitude, but he ended up training

too hard and his performance began to worsen but he continued, eventually being diagnosed as anaemic by doctors because he had overworked his body in an attempt to get better. He said that this was a big obstacle in his career, because it taught him that he should listen to others advice rather than over work himself and develop problems. In 2012 he returned to Kenya for six weeks preparing for the Olympics and because he again pushed himself too much it resulted in him developing a grade two tear in his leg, which meant he missed out on the Olympics, which he said was one of the worst points in his career because he missed out on the games being held in his home country. He said that the main advice he could give us is not to listen to others when they put you down and to just go for it – even when the media set him up and he didn’t perform as well, he didn’t let it get him down.

Dee Wold Palece FM Radio presenter


ee Wold is a radio presenter for Palace FM radio, the community radio station for Redcar and Cleveland. She set up the radio station herself, and runs the station from a little office based in the Hub in Redcar. When Dee was younger, she enjoyed doing performing arts, as it allowed her to ‘be heard’. She also got a part time job working for a hospital radio station, and worked hard at university to get a masters degree in radio production. She then moved down to the Teesside area, but struggled to find work in radio. When she was unsuccessful she decided to start her own radio station called Palace FM Radio and she currently has four directors and over 40 volunteers working for her. In January she applied for FM status, and is currently waiting for a reply. As the decision on her application is still pending, she thought she would use social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to advertise her radio station. Palace FM is on every day from 10.00am till 6.00pm and there are a wide range of programmes which include a gaming show that is presented by her 11 year old son, and the weather update which is presented by her nine year old daughter.

Voice of the Community



The changing face of Redcar Redcar’sBeacon


he Beacon that was created and placed on Redcar sea front cost the council £1.6 million. At first there was a debate whether it was going to be vertical or horizontal, and eventually the council decided that they wanted it to be vertical. This vertical pier created 100+ jobs which was a bonus for some people as it meant more work for the community, but many people still argued that this didn’t make up for the huge amount of money spent on it. Recently, there have been several rumours around the Redcar area that the Beacon is sinking into the ground, and that it is the reason for its late opening. This was then followed by reports that this is causing the Beacon to become slanted and that it is no longer fully straight, leading to locals dubbing it ‘the Next Leaning tower of Pisa’. However, it has been said that it is fully safe and these rumours are untrue and have no factual basis. The Beacon is 80ft tall and it is very eyecatching for tourists visiting Redcar with its bold colours and design, but it is very controversial because the local residents would have preferred a more traditional pier, or for the money to be used to improve local community facilities such as ‘The Regent Cinema’.




rotton is a village in the parish of Skelton and Brotton, in Redcar and Cleveland. Brotton has one youth club on a Tuesday and Friday nights, situated in the local school Freebrough Academy. Not that many kids use it, and a lot that do aren’t from Brotton, the majority of the people there are aged under 14, making 15-17 year olds feel out of place. Brotton is a very quiet place to live with very little to do: unfortunately, anything you do has to be arranged by yourself, as the only organised activity centre in the village is the youth club. As well as this, the quality of the park is not great, as sometimes is treated with little respect by the users. I believe Brotton needs some development, mainly aimed at creating a friendlier community, things for

teenagers to do. Being from Brotton myself I have many mixed feelings about it – there is little to do and there are some people who treat our area with little respect. However, this is upsetting because 99% of the people who live there are decent respectable members of our community, but we can be let down by that little 1% More investors need to see the potential of the cheap wasteland around Teesside as it would create more jobs for the local economy to reduce unemployment, as that is a big problem for East Cleveland. The council also needs to see the potential of the youth by giving us more to do, or they may turn to drugs and crime when they could be putting their minds to good use. I believe this will improve local life for the better.

The death of Redcar

bout seven years ago, high-street chain Woolworth’s went into administration, meaning that the company no longer had any money left to keep the stores open. This led to workers in the Redcar shop losing their jobs as they were made redundant. This started a chain of abandoned buildings, as places such as Mc Donald’s, Internacionale and the Mungle Jungle were forced out of

business. Redcar & Cleveland Council have been trying to bring the town back to life by creating a place for young people to socialise, without causing trouble and disturbing local people called ‘Tuned In’. This was then followed by ‘The Hub’ - an art gallery and café where members of the community can visit freely at any time during the day.

Regent Cinema By Lauren pearson


uilt in 1928, the Regent cinema in Redcar has become a building with a fascinating history. Originally called the New Pavilion Theatre, it was used as a music hall and

repertory theatre, but was later converted in early 1960’s into a cinema. Throughout the years it has been open, it has been host to many personalities such as

Larry Grayson - whose most famous catchphrase “Shut that door” is believed to have originated in the Regent Cinema where it was regularly shouted whenever the side door was left open, which allowed a draft from the sea to enter the room. Another previous visitor to the cinema was Barry Wood, who was host of the most popular summer show ‘Radio Times’ in the 1950’ and ‘The Dallas Boys’, who are considered to have been Britain’s first boy band . As a result of neglect, due to the fall of the seaside theatre, it remained untouched for many years until it was reopened as a cinema by The Cleveland Cinema Co-operative: however, the company unfortunately folded after 10 years due to the rising competition of many multiplexes. It was resurrected 15 years ago by Neil Bates, who worked next to the cinema at an ice cream

parlour at the time; he started to draw up plans with the support of his family to officially re open the building. He has been providing the community of Redcar with the latest releases ever since. With only one screen, business is bound to be unpredictable and there have been days when numbers have dwindled. However, there have also been days when people have lined up around the corner waiting for the doors to open. One of the best moments in recent times for the Regent Cinema was when it played a role in the 2007 film Atonement, which boosted audience members by a large percent. However the crew working on the film would sometimes take their breaks in the cinema, and would climb over the chairs which eventually began to break. Although they are still usable, the cinema is trying to raise funds of £10,000 to replace them. So hopefully with cheap tickets and loyal audiences, they can achieve their goal and restore the Regent back to its former glory.

Voice of the Community


Community G

uisborough may not be the most glamorous of places, it might not be the busiest – and whenever anybody asks where you’re from, you will always have to explain using ‘near Middlesbrough’ or ‘near Newcastle’. However, if I had the chance to change where I grew up - and have my childhood elsewhere - I wouldn’t hesitate to say no. With a population of around 20,000 it’s far from being a bustling town and it’s very, very rarely shown on any maps. However, I don’t see this as being a problem as I would rather grow up in a small town where people know each other, than be surrounded by hundreds of thousands of people yet still feel isolated because people don’t communicate with each other.

This is a brilliant thing about Guisborough, you cannot walk down the high street and not bump into someone that you know, or at least recognise. Guisborough is also very lucky, because it’s surrounded by scenery and hills, as it borders the North York Moors. It’s fantastic for families and dog walkers and on a nice day, the hills are bustling with ramblers, walkers and even young people, who have decided to brave Highcliffe Nab. I doubt that anybody who has grown up in Guisborough doesn’t have at least one fond memory of taking walks up the hills with their family as a child. However, despite its small size, don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s quiet, and that the people won’t stand up for themselves

– even the Minister of Civil Society said that Teesside, including Guisborough, has a strong voice in parliament, and is far from being underrepresented. They have also shown that they will not give up when they are knocked back – the campaign against the selling of the register office to a pub rather than a community theatre has shown that Guisborian’s and Teessider’s are far from being pushovers. Yes, Guisborough might not be perfect, and it can be dull for young people as there isn’t much for them to do, but everywhere has its downsides – and maybe if people paid a bit more attention to it, and provided some funds to help improve Guisborough, then people will appreciate Guisborough for the lovely town it really is.

Earthbeat seeks young people’s help after council setback Y

North East’s food

The little town with a lot to give

ou would think that the council is the voice of the community. You would think that the council would help the community thrive, but this is not the case for Redcar & Cleveland Council. Recently the register office in Guisborough was put up for sale. Tony Galuidi, of Earthbeat - a company devoted to helping those with disabilities and improving the local community - has a vision to turn this old register office into a large theatre which he believes could one day be the heart of the Guisborough community. However Redcar & Cleveland Council threaten to ruin his vision. When speaking to Tony in more in depth about this project he describes his vision more vividly. He said that he and his team wish to create a large multiplex theatre where both the youth and older members of the community can come for whatever they want: be it classes like zumba, dance, cooking, youth groups, watching performances, the cinema or displaying their own art work!

He wishes to make it a place where everyone can find something to do at a reasonable price, as well as a theatre for adults with learning disabilities. Redcar & Cleveland Council however, has different plans. Although Earthbeat were first to apply for the old registry building and want to use it to better the community, Redcar & Cleveland Council have decided to sell the building to Wetherspoon’s and make it a pub! “The community needs to be improved, not given cheap beer,” said Tony. Now the group is campaigning against this terrible decision, in hope to reclaim the building and improve Guisbrough. If you wish to support the campaign please like the group on Facebook or write directly to Redcar & Cleveland Council to try and reverse this ridiculous decision. After all, we’re being denied a building that would give young people something to do – and more importantly, would keep them off the streets and busy.

Teesside’s fast food sensation:


By Sophie Bower

armesan has its ham, Milan is renowned for its Veal Milanese, and Middlesbrough… is the birth place of ‘Parmo’. This Teesside delicacy and fast food favourite has scored a huge hit with lovers of good grub. The ‘Parmo’ was only ever known in the Middlesbrough area and is starting to be introduced into other places, with ‘Jeff the Chef’ introducing frozen Parmo’s that are sold in big supermarkets across the country: people all over the UK can now experience this North Eastern delicacy! Lovers of ‘Parmo’ like nothing better than a slab of their favourite food with chips, salad and even a generous helping of garlic sauce! It might not be the finest quality, and it’s not to everybody’s taste – but for now, Teessider’s are happy to tuck into the grub produced from their very own home town!

Voice of the Community


Social Action Projects Animal Sanctuary Skinningrove


or several NCS students, their social action week involved tending to abandoned animals that are being looked after at the Animal Sanctuary in Skinningrove. The students, who organised this particular project themselves, spent several days at the mucking out area, tending to the animals and partaking in any other tasks needed by the workers on the sanctuary. As well as manual work, they also had

the chance to interact with the animals, and fortunately, the weather held out, so it wasn’t too muddy! It was a fantastic project for the students as it gave them the chance to do something beneficial for the community, whilst physically helping others. Working with the animals also meant that no two days were the same and the variety and entertainment of the work and the animals behaviour led to a very enjoyable experience!


Beach Clear Up Saltburn

nother part of Saltburn was also improved by more NCS students, as a group of them donned bin bags and ‘grabbers’ and hit Saltburn beach, ready to clean up after messy beach goers. Starting from the August bank holiday, they spent their week picking up litter and chatting to other beach users who were undoubtedly appreciative of their hard work. The students worked their way along the beach each day, and, even after a busy bank holiday weekend, managed to get the beach looking wonderful and tidy. Fortunately, the weather held up for them, and they could enjoy working on the beach under the gorgeous temperatures, whilst doing their bit to improve the community.

Ann Charlton Lodge – Redcar


esidents at the Ann Charlton Lodge in Redcar were visited by a group of our students, who spent their week clearing up the garden and socialising with the residents. The first part of their week was spent working on the overgrown garden, and clearing it away so it could continue to blossom for residents and visitors of the Lodge to enjoy. They quickly and efficiently cleared away heaps of waste material and cut back bushes to

reveal the blooming grass that decked the grounds. They also socialised with residents in the Lodge, which specialises in the care for people suffering from Multiple Sclerosis. They chatted to residents and discussed their project, and swiftly finished the job of clearing the garden. All students worked well, and enjoyed their final week of NCS whilst doing something fantastic for the community.

Voice of the Community


Social Action Projects F

Sea Cadet Project – Guisborough

or one of the community projects, over 20 of the NCS participants joined forces to turn an overgrown patch of weeds and grass into a garden and ready-to-plant vegetable patch. The land is part of the Guisborough and East Cleveland Sea Cadet building and their surrounding land and had not been cleared in more than 40 years – becoming a dumping ground for disused equipment and rubbish. The first day involved a huge general clearout of tyres, paddles, bricks and rubble – and several boats were even pulled from within the weeds! Piles of nettles and dead weeds were also removed, as heaps of plant materials were removed from the site.

There was also lots of work to be done behind the garage of the building, in order to create a suitable vegetable patch. Rubbish was also cleared away, and they dug up any stones and mud to reveal a spacious pathway underneath. The project didn’t just involve manual work – students could reveal their inner creativity, as they set to work painting tyres to be used for decorating the garden. By the end of the day, the area was filled with tens of bright, colourful tyres, and some rather messy students! Everyone showed excellent team work, especially when working under the boiling hot August bank holiday weather, and can be very proud to have provided the Sea Cadets with a fantastic garden site.

Hazel Grove - Saltburn S

altburn dog walkers and pedestrians can now take a clear walk along the Hazel Grove pathway, thanks to the hard work of some of our NCS students who cleared the way for their project. The path, which leads from the top of Saltburn bank towards the beach, was overgrown and untidy, meaning that it was hard for people to pass through freely. However, the students spent their week clearing it up, and making it safe and suitable for everyone to use it. They cleaned up the edges, pulled up stray weeds

and nettles, and raked up the plant material to make the place look clean and tidy. Even by the end of the second day, people were already sampling delights of the previously unkempt pathway thanks to the hot bank holiday weather! All students worked really efficiently, and soon the unruly nests of weeds and nettles had become neatly raked banks for the community of Saltburn to enjoy. They worked so efficiently in fact that they were finished before the end of the week, with their determination evidently paying off!

Voice of the Community


Student Stories Elsa Irabona: Story of my Life


y name is Elsa Irabona and I am a student on the National Citizen Service with Imagine You Can. I was born in Burundi on the December 15th, 1995 but I have lived in the UK since May 2011

and came over here to live with my uncle as I don’t have any parents. When I was born, the civil war was going on and it was a tough time in the country as there was an unstable government. Civil War: In my country, there are two types of ethnicity; Tutsi and Hutu. I have been told that in 1987 there were 72% of Tutsi and 28% of Hutu. However in 1993, it was the first time in the history of Burundi that a Hutu President was elected from a Party called FRODEBU (Front for Democracy in Burundi) as all the previous Presidents had been Tutsi. After three months in power, he was assassinated by Tutsi extremists. By that time, the country situation rapidly declined as Hutu peasants begin to rise up and massacre the Tutsis. When I was one year old in 1996, my parents were

killed because they were Tutsi. My grand-mother told me that one night, a stranger knocked on our front door with a friendly voice, my father opened the door and the stranger said he had a message he wanted to tell him. Meanwhile, a gang of Hutu rebels came straight away with guns and they shot my dad. My mum heard some guns noises and ran outside to check what was going on and they shot her as well. School life in Burundi compared to UK School life in Burundi was quite different from UK as there are strict rules, such as: at the start of each term you were given 100 points which you have to manage yourself for the first term on how you behave or on how you deal with your punctuality, your behaviour towards your classmates and the teachers. If you were late, five points had to be taken off from those 100 points that you have been given when you start the term. However, I remember that when I was in primary school, we were smacked if we did something wrong such as, not doing your homework, being late, or answering the question

Sophie’s story

Dancing with Diversity!

By Sophie Bower


y name is Sophie, and I’m 16 years old and have just currently left school. I lived a normal life - from being out with my friends, to studying for my GCSE’s at school which were quite stressful! I enjoy going out shopping and basically doing what every other teenager does at my age. That all took a turn for the worst on January 1st 2012 at midday... I had an epileptic fit and an ambulance was called

- it was pretty scary although I don’t remember any of it apart from waking up in hospital. They did numerous tests and nothing was found so I was discharged. Throughout the year of 2012 I kept having these epileptic fits and I didn’t know what to think of them, because I was so worried - not just me, but my family and friends were very worried about the situation too as after every seizure I was rushed into hospital. After so many seizures the hospital decided to do an EEG, which is a test used to detect abnormalities in the brain. The results came back normal, so they did an MRI scan and the results came back normal again. They eventually diagnosed me with Epilepsy and I am now doing fine and taking medication, which is helping me cope with the condition. I don’t really know what to think of it, but there’s nothing I can do and I just have to cope with it. Now, I am unfortunately limited to the things I can and can’t do but it’s something which I can cope with - and there’s always the alternative of a shopping spree with my mam!

MFC Scholarship By John Freer


n year 11, I won ‘what’s your goal’; a competition ran by Middlesbrough Football Club. The prize was to get work experience at the Riverside Stadium, so you could gain first hand work experience on how a football ground is run.

It was a week’s work experience, and at the end of the week, they asked what I was doing at college. Because I am doing level two sports development, they told me that I could do the same course with them, and I could gain a scholarship in futsal. Futsal is a Brazilian game that is played indoors on a wooden floor with a hard ball. The rules are a bit different from football: when the ball goes out of play you have to kick it back in, whereas with football you have to throw it back in. On my first training session I thought it was just football indoors but it’s a really fast game and even for a small pitch you need a lot of pace. I found that it takes a lot of skill and energy to play but I really enjoy it, and definitely think that more people should play it.

wrong when the teacher asked you something. That motivated us to work under pressure as we were afraid of being smacked. Moreover, if you were clever, you were more privileged than others pupils that were not as smart as you. A teacher would support you so that you could keep it up and make them proud. On the other hand , if you needed more support on your studies after school, your parents had to pay money to your teacher monthly which was not affordable for all the parents, who had a lower income; so if you were not lucky to have parents that would afford the price, you struggled so much. The other thing that is totally different in Primary schools in Burundi is that you have to pass all your Exams Courses. If you failed any of them, you were obliged to stay in the same class for the next year while others already moved up in the next class, so that you can redo your exams. In secondary school, you had a chance of resitting only three subjects. When I went to school in UK, I was impressed as everything was different from Burundi - the Education System and the rules as well.


uisborough teenager Lenina Gibben recently took up the amazing opportunity to dance with the famous dance crew Diversity for an upcoming, new TV show ‘The town that danced’. When interviewed about this, she lit up and was eager to share her experience. Lenina first heard about the opportunity at school when her teacher asked who would like to put their name down for a chance to dance with Diversity. After auditioning and being short listed Lenina was lucky enough to be accepted and meet the dance crew themselves! When asked how she felt about dancing with Diversity, Lenina replied: “Fantastic, they are the loveliest people you could ever meet.’” Over the next few weeks Lenina attended numerous dance rehearsals at six different venues until ready for the end performances. Lenina began dancing at the age of 10 and decided to continue this hobby throughout her five years of secondary school. Her years of practising have made her skilled at dancing however, when asked if she was any good at it, she said she did not know, but the fact that she enjoyed it was a good enough reason to continue. When asked to pick her favourite member of

diversity Lenina struggled, eventually coming to the conclusion it was a draw between Perry- for his sense of humour and ability to lighten any mood- and Warren – for looking out for her and helping her during dance lessons. Lenina admitted it was not how she had expected it. She had expected it to be quite strict however Lenina described the atmosphere as bubbly and easy going. “They listened and helped out with any dance routines I was unsure of,” she said. The main outcomes of the show for Lenina were that she got dancing experience and a chance to be on TV all whilst having an amazing time. After the weeks of training came the two final performances, the first taking place in Middlesbrough Town Hall and the second in Stockton centre. Lenina told us one of her most memorable moment with the boys was after the last dance when the whole team went for a drink in The Keys pub in Yarm. Overall Lenina described the experience as “amazing” and would urge anyone who gets a similar opportunity to take it! And don’t miss the first episode of ‘The town that danced’ which will be aired on Sky1, October 30th.

Voice of the Community


Student Choice Active v Laziness

Air Cadets - Swimming

By Elsa


aziness is the worst thing that can attack someone’s life – I have always thought this, but doing NCS has made me realise that this is definitely the case. For example, if you live in the house with a lazy person, you always find yourself doing all the things on your own, and you can feel

very unsupported. They are not proactive and don’t ever ask you if you need any help. Sometimes, even when you ask people to do something they don’t, and when you ask why they always reply with “I forgot” or “I didn’t know that I had to do it.”, which can make us feel down as they never make any effort. This sometimes makes me think: when will we stop doing things for them and make them aware that they should do some be independent? The good outcome of being active is that you do not have to expect anyone to do things for you. NCS has definitely shown that this is the case, as everybody has pulled their weight and we have achieved a lot to be proud of.

Vigilant Gliding scholarship By Jamie

By Mikayla


s I am an air cadet there are plenty of opportunities we can take to show our talents. Therefore, on 7th of October 2012, I took part in my district swimming competition. This was my first year as a cadet swimmer so i was really nervous but thankfully i had my sister and friend there so I had lots of support. We got to the pool, and there were swimmers from all over the North East. I swam for the under 16’s in the 50 metres fly and I got a silver, which I was very happy with as it was my first race. When I first dived in the water and came up for my first stroke I knew I had to do this, and hearing the north region coach shouting for me pushed me more. I finished 0.01 seconds from first place which really boosted my confidence. In the Individual Medley (which consists of one length of fly, backstroke, breast stroke and front crawl), I got a bronze. I also did two relays where got two bronze medals – our team were so proud of each other as it was a team effort. Knowing i was coming home with four medals -

more than anybody else that went - I was so proud and so were my parents. As well as this, if you came in the top three you had to get your name, wing, squadron number and contact number in case the swimmer who placed first couldn’t go the regional competition, in which case they would contact the 2nd, and even 3rd placed swimmers. As I came 2nd and 3rd, I didn’t think I’d be going to the regional competition, so I didn’t get my hopes up. However, the first placed swimmer was unable to go to the regional, so I was asked to go – I couldn’t have been any happier! The north region coach said well done for getting through as we were the only ones from central and East Yorks. The first night we met people from all over Britain. When we reached the pool, I was raring to go. I took part in two relays, and I achieved a 1st place in the medley relay and a 2nd in the freestyle. I was so proud of achieving all of that in only my first ever swimming competition for the Air Cadets, and I can’t wait to achieve even more!

The wonderful world of horses By Emily Armitage

T Students & Jamie (right) with Damian Clayton RAF MBE


o apply for this amazing experience you first have to join the Air Cadets, at the minimum age of 13 –and at 16 you can apply for the high flying takeoff. The opportunities within Air Cadets are outstanding, and range from shooting to cooking! I did my gliding scholarship at 16 and there was lots of support from the staff on the ground and in the air. In addition to this all my training was free and paid by the Air Cadets meaning money was no problem for me to be able to follow my dream in life, which is to be an R.A.F. pilot. It took me about eleven hours to complete my Gliding Scholarship, over a period of five weekends to complete my silver wings, which is my solo. The day I became a qualified solo pilot was one of the most exciting and overwhelming things I have ever done in my life. The first day of my training I was given a task to do the radio call to make sure that it all was working properly. Then I had to go through all the system checks and also the safety checks but of course the pilot checked the safety once again to make sure it was secure. After this I had to taxi to the runway which was very difficult at first but after a few

attempts I began to get the hang of it. As we approached the yellow line which was the run way we had to do some checks to see if the aircraft was working properly. Then it was time for takeoff. During my first hour I learnt how to make the aircraft go to straight and level flight followed by some basic turns. The next sessions for that weekend I learnt how to do advanced turns and fly most of it myself, and as the sessions went on the skills got tougher. In the final weekend I achieved my silver wings but I had to do a ghost, meaning the pilot just sat there without saying or doing anything. It felt weird because the pilot was watching me and not saying anything to me, just like the big brother house really. On that night I was presented with my certificate and my silver solo badge to go onto my Cadet uniform to show everyone back at squadron. I loved it, and I gained so many new skills, confidence, and I was kept motivated. Overall if you are an aviation enthusiast I would advise you to join the Air Cadets and to apply for this special experience that lots of people will not have the chance to do in their whole life. If you do get this opportunity take it with both hands. R.A.F. one step closer.

here are about 75 million horses in the world and all of them are different some are looked after and some aren’t. Horses have their own personalities; some are cheeky, some are stubborn and some are just all together lazy. No two horses are identical. Horses are so interesting – for example, did you know that a horse’s heart weighs about nine pounds, or that a horse younger than four years can concentrate for approximately 10-15 minutes a day? And also, you can work out how old a horse is by its teeth? Horses generally dislike the smell of pigs, and they lie down for about 45 minutes a day. There are so many things about horses. I have owned

17 horses during my lifetime and I currently have two, a mare and a foal. I owned an ex police horse called Charlie, who had retired when he became too old, for 14 months. He was an Irish draft cross at 18.3 hands, and was 25 years old. Unfortunately, we had to put Charlie down because he ate a plant called ragwort. Ragwort is poisonous to horses, as it damages the liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage. I think that horses are a brilliant thing to have, as you can build up such a close bond with them so quickly. And, with enough love and attention, a horse can easily became a huge and important part of your life

Voice of the Community


Politics – does it really matter? By Bethany Hunter


olitics. On a scale of 1 – 10, it’s probably not a topic ranked very highly in terms of interest for a lot of teenagers. However, with the country in its current situation and our futures unsure, politics, and understanding it, is probably as important as it has ever been. For a lot of people, a lack of

interest can be down to a lack of knowledge. With the argument constantly appearing over whether the voting age in the UK should be lowered from 16 to 18, there are arguments for both reasons – with the argument for no, being that there is no point, as many 16 year olds said that they would not vote anyway. When the Minister of Civil Society Nick Hurd was interviewed by several NCS students, he revealed that the latest figures show that only 10% of 18-24 year olds have said they will vote at the next election. If people want to improve teenagers’ interests in politics, can

we expect to see politics appear in classrooms? Several European countries already teach politics in school from a young age, and groups want a similar subject introduced in British schools, similar to the way that RE is taught. Could this be the answer? For teenagers as well, especially in the North East, politics and policies are very important, if young people want to change their futures. With unemployment rates high and set to increase and many industries either being closed down or threatened with closure, it’s important that young people understand politics so that they can make good choices

Ian Swales is the MP for Redcar and is a member of the Liberal Democrat party


e was elected as MP for Redcar in May 2010 and overturned Labour MP Vera Baird’s 12,116 majority with a huge swing of 21.8%, in a seat that was considered a Labour stronghold. Ian was born in Leeds and grew up in Harrogate. Following a Chemical Engineering degree at Manchester University he joined Yorkshire Electricity and qualified as an Accountant in 1977. He moved to Teesside in 1978 to join ICI and settled in Redcar. He worked at ICI’s European HQ in Brussels for three years in the 1980s and took part in major chemical industry re-structuring. In 1996 he moved to become global Head of Leadership Development for ICI before leaving in 1999 to

start his own training and consultancy business. His clients have ranged from venture capital companies and start-ups to large public and private organisations. He found it especially revealing to work with two Government Departments in London and see how they interact with politicians. In his spare time Ian helps local organisations and campaigns on local issues. He was active in Redcar Swimming Club and since the closure of the pool has been campaigning for a new one. He has been on the Committee of Coatham Memorial Hall for many years. He is campaigning for more jobs in the area to replace all those being lost in the traditional steel and bulk chemical activities. Since becoming an MP, Ian has taken an active interest in big businesses that are not paying their taxes. He is passionate about making sure that taxes really are fair, and that means that everyone paying their fair share. Ian has a passionate interest in people and how they live and work together. His hobbies include walking, keeping fit, cooking, reading and community activities. He says that he doesn’t do his job for money, he does it because he wants to give something back to the community.


about how their local area is run in the future. Even if people aren’t old enough to vote yet, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t allowed to learn about politics and elections. However, there are now more and more opportunities for young people to get involved in politics, even if they are not yet old enough to vote. For young people, there are lots of campaigns that you can get involved with alongside other campaigners and you can contact your local MP and help out in the community. Not only does this help you to make friends, it also gives you a say, despite not being able to vote – if you are persuading other

people to vote your way, then you are still making a difference. To answer the article’s headline’s question, I think that politics really does matter. Politics shapes the way our communities work and the way that we live our lives. It affects every aspect of our day – where we work or go to school and college; how much our food is and where we live. For young people especially, I think you should get as involved as soon as possible with politics because it’s important to stand up and fight for things that will ultimately shape our future – and it’s better to change things now before it’s too late.

Tom Blenkinsop MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland

om Blenkinsop lives in Saltburn and has been the local MP for Guisborough and East Cleveland for three years running, for the Labour party. Tom used to be a Trade Union Officer and worked in the steel industry, looking after the men and women working there. Working as a local MP, Tom travels over 1500 miles per week. As an MP, he tries to make a change to his local community, and fights for things that are important to people. He said: “Politics isn’t something you do for the money - it’s like a compulsion to get your point across.” Therefore, as a project, Tom visited Guisborough Football Club and helped them out by painting round the pitches voluntarily. The football club had financial difficulties, so he helped out with that too. Tom was asked in the interview if he helps out young people in the community and his answer was that he tries to - if he didn’t then he would lose the younger generation. To help young people get involved in projects, and to change negative stereotypes about teenagers, there has been a labour club set up at Prior Pursglove College and Teesside University, which will give the younger generation a sense of responsibility and an idea of what becoming involved in the community is really like. As the economy is struggling, especially for the young community, Tom tries to help them as much as possible. This varies from hiring a majority of under 26’s to work for him and also recruiting two young students per year.

He supports the ‘Votes for 16’ campaign as “I believe it is the only way to be fully interested in politics, as if you have no vote there is no point in knowing all the facts”. Community action groups such as NCS (National Citizen Service) and youth groups are also improving to keep teenagers off the street and out of trouble. This helps young people to feel part of the community, and shows others the positive things that teenagers can do. Tom suggested that we did clean up projects or helped elderly people for our NCS social action project, as they can sometimes feel less involved in the community, and we can change that. He also gave us tips about becoming more involved in our community, which included talking to local politicians, writing letters, campaigning, lobbying and just getting involved.

NCS Students visited by Government Minister


ick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, visited Teesside to see students currently working on the NCS programme and to see them at work. He started off his visit speaking to students

from the media, filming, editing and radio groups and asked them how they felt NCS had helped them to develop their skills. He also asked them whether he thought they had learnt skills they could adapt to their everyday life, and whether they thought they could apply them to their future careers. He stated that all the students “have worked very hard, and completing NCS will give you all a big advantage when applying for jobs, particularly on

your CV”. As ‘Imagine You Can’ is the only NCS programme to do a media based residential, a camera crew from ITV news came and filmed

students at work. A political correspondent from The Daily Mail also attended the event, along with several members of the Cabinet Office. It was also an opportunity for the media and radio group to interview Nick Hurd about a range of topics, including the economy, university tuition fees and whether 16 year olds should be allowed the vote. He explained to us that university fees are now easier to pay back, as you do not pay them back till “you are earning more than £20,000, meaning people from poorer backgrounds like Teesside can still afford to go to university”. This was then followed by a short conference, where the presenters got the chance to ask him about his personal background, and ask whether they thought young people from

Teesside should have the same privileges as people, like him, who had been to private schools such as Eton. When asked this, he stated that he “learnt a lot at Eton, but the most important thing is that I have learnt a lot since then”. He co-operated well with the interviewers, and answered nearly all of their questions – apart from the question about 16 year old voting, where he simply stated that “the focus should be on getting 18 year olds to vote, rather than whether 16 year olds should be allowed to vote.” The visit went well, and it was a good opportunity to speak our minds. It also gave us the chance to have our voices heard in front of a government minister – something we may never get to do again.

Voice of the Community


Student Choice Memes


meme behaves like flu or a virus, travelling from person to person quickly, but transmitting an idea instead of a life form. Memes are carefully picked images paired with fitting humorous text to create a great joke in the form of an image. Any picture which aims to make someone laugh can

technically be classed as a meme. Some examples of memes include: writing immature text on top of a serious image or posting photos of people doing funny things online. They are instantly able to brighten any ones day, making memes increasingly popular. Memes have seen a surge in popularity recently; to the point where they’re almost a form of impersonal communication. They are evidence of a shift in communication in the internet age. They are the equivalent of idle chatter - they’re not supposed to be deep or meaningful - but a simple way to express ideas, tell short stories and make people laugh. While memes can be text-based, the majority comprise an image - and can be likened to a simplified comic. A basic type of meme is 4-panel comics, generally known as ‘rage comics’, and usually focus on telling a story - with the last panel almost universally being a simple expression or reaction to the outcome of the preceding story. These comics employ ‘rage faces’ - simple caricatures and stereotypes - that convey emotion and motivation in a very straightforward way. For this purpose, they’re ideal and although the concept of a meme could change in the future, I suspect they will continue as lightweight with easily digestible content as they have always been. Either way, no matter how memes develop and change along with technology, their purpose will always be the same – to make people laugh.

Worried? Sleepless nights? Information overload?


re y o u w o r r i e d a b o u t y o u r G C S E examinations? Well time to sort yourself out and try to get ready and prepared! GCSE’s are very important for everybody – they are important for colleges and universities, and employers hoping to take you on to work, but they are very important to you in finding out which subjects you enjoy and are successful in. However, this means that there is a lot of stress on you to perform well – here are some tips and quotes from ex GCSE students, that will help you prepare for your exams. And, in the words of Winston Churchill: “Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, never!”

Tips for success

• Ask for some support of your peers or your teachers. • Follow your homework timetable and take regular breaks. • Plan a revision rota, do not cram all your revision in one night as you may over do your brain and not be able to concentrate properly. • Find somewhere that is quiet and comfortable. • Eat and drink plenty throughout the day to keep up your energy levels.

Revision Techniques

• Mind maps • Write important information down on a postit-note • Flow diagrams • Notes • Try and remember where things were and how

they were set out when you got taught them such as if you had to remember a map from memory you would have to try and remember where things were to get things in the right place.

Exam Preparation

• Be realistic – set yourself targets that you can work for, but not ones that are too hard to achieve • Ask for some support from your peers or teachers – they will be happy to help • Follow your homework timetable and take regular breaks - this will allow you to reboot your energy and know what you’re doing • Do as much revision as you can – but don’t do too much at once or you will become even more stressed • Start revising early and revisit notes later – this means that you do not have to rush to revise at the last minute Good luck and don’t worry - everything will be ok!

Vox Pops Chloe Coe


he NCS experience has been unforgettable and I have made lifelong friends with people who I never imagined I would socialise with. It’s been really interesting and enjoyable, taking part in new experiences. Despite the fact that I was away from home and the people I felt comfortable with, I enjoyed sleeping, eating and living with people that I didn’t know before. If there is one thing that I have learnt during my away residential it is to conquer your fears, and throw yourself into everything whilst being confident - otherwise you will miss out.


James Flemming

n my time on NCS, I have been thrown out of my “comfort zone” and connected with a completely new group of people. Our interests are different and we come from different backgrounds, but that’s what makes us connect so much. We share and learn about each other’s backgrounds – it is a very diverse place to be.


John Dickinson

have to say that the NCS project is a fantastic opportunity for any young person. There is a large range of activities and sections for people to try and experiment with to what suits you, and it is a great place to make a lot of new friends. When I first signed up for the NCS project I didn’t know anybody at all, but after the five days of fun and excitement we have had doing all the activities that we were given I feel like I have made some great friends here. To summarise anyone who is interested or wants to try something new then join the NCS project, as it is a fantastic opportunity to meet some new people. I will not forget my time here with the NCS team - and neither will you.


Summary of Experience

think that it’s impossible to summarise the whole NCS experience without taking up a full newspaper, but I’ll try! It really has been life changing, and everybody has gained so much life experience in such a short space of time. Everyone has achieved so much in the summer thanks to NCS – who would have thought that a group of 16 and 17 year olds would have been able to produce a newspaper, have presented a live radio show and interviewed government ministers in front of ITV cameras? Throughout this whole experience, we have been able to show other people and the community just how much potential we have, and what we can achieve when we all work together. It’s also been a brilliant way to improve how we interact with other teenagers, not just older people. We have all made so many new friends through NCS, and they are people that we will stay in contact with for years to come. For anybody who is thinking about signing up to do NCS, I would say YES, YES, YES! Yes you may be nervous about doing it, but take this opportunity, because believe me – it will stay with you for the rest of your life

Profile for Imagine You Can NCS

IYC NCS Times Issue 1  

IYC NCS Times Issue 1