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Voice of the Community



Summer 2014

Question Time By George Miller & Beth Hunter


n Friday 8th August, NCS Ima gine youcan s t u d e n t s a tte n d e d a prearranged Question Time session with political figures from the immediate area. T h i s w a s a n e f f e c t i ve w a y o f e n g a g i n g wi t h important figures within our community directly and allowed us to see what they really thought. We were fortunate enough to h ave a wide arra y of g u e s t s f ro m d i f f ere n t backgrounds and different political parties, allowing lots of heightened debate and a very diverse range of different opinions. Joining us were Anna Turley (Labour ’s Parliamentary C and i d a te for Re d c a r ) , Tom Blenkinsop (Labour MP for Middl esbrough South and East Cl eveland), Ian Swales (Liberal Democrat MP for Re d c a r ) , Wil l Goodhand (Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Middl esbrough South and East Cleveland), Barry Coppinger (Labour Police & Crime Commissioner), C h r i s G a l l a c h e r ( UK I P Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar) and Damian Clayton MBE (Warrant Officer in the RAF). Following a typical ‘Question

Time’ format, the panel faced a series of questions posed to them by a group of our students and were directed to the whole panel to answer. Issues raised included education, where they were asked if they felt that education surrounding typicall y ‘taboo’ subjects such as sex and drugs was adequate for today’s society; military spending, where they discussed whether cuts to the military could leave the UK vulnerable and whether the voting age should be lowered to 16. We also asked questions more relevant to our local community, such as whether youth opportunities could help to tackl e the large numbers of anti-social behaviour in the local area, and whether we thought the facilities in Redcar were being used effectively. These issues did bring up a lot of debate; especially when faced with the question regarding the voting age and education, as the conflicting views on the panel raised the claim that young people needed to experience the ‘real world’ before taking the responsibility to vote, and others argued that you cannot expect young people to engage with politics if they are denied the right to vote. Th e m o s t p a ss i o n a te debate however arose over

Imagine You Can NCS Question Time Show with our MP’s, Police Commissioner, RAF and 2015 selection candidates the questions regarding the European Union and immigration. The conflicting v i ews of UK I P, w h o a re consistentl y vocal about their opposition to the EU and anti-immigration policies clashed with the ma jority of the panel, who claimed that the benefits of the Union a nd i m m i g ra t i o n c o ul d

not be ignored. However, there were a lso clashes over emplo yment issues in the area, as Labour and Conservative went head on and argued about whether the current economic plan will help the area in the longterm. The passion from the panelists during the

interview was great to see, as we saw first hand that, no matter wh at party or interests they represented, they were prepared to work in the best interests of the local area. It was also good for us to put our questions directly to them and ensure that they didn’t get an easy ride!

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

The musical MP

Our session with Middlesbrough’s MP, Andrew McDonald

By Alexandra India Moylan-Jones


ith the notorious re p u ta t i o n of Middlesbrough giving us all a bad name, we wanted to ask the local MP what his thoughts were and his plans to improve our beloved ‘Boro’. On Friday 1st August 2014 NCS held a press conference f or A nd rew M c D o n a l d Middlesbrough’s local MP - and

asked him a few questions regarding his job and his plans for the future of his constituency (we even got him to sing a little too!). K n ow n f or i t s high crime rate, its poor economy and belowa v e r a g e tran s p or t s y s t e m , Middlesbrough isn’t deemed to be the best place to live. However MP Andy McDonald believes it’s ‘about time people realised the potential in Middlesbrough.’ He believes that though it has its faults, our town is the greatest place in the world. The first question we asked Andy was a simple one: “But what is politics?” Expecting a simple dictionary definition answer, I think we were all surprised when

he gave us quite the opposite response. “Politics is life. It’s everything you do and interact with. It’s education, health, how the country functions, transport, industry, it’s the skills we need. Life.” Andy wasn’t always an MP. Starting his working life as a serious injury solicitor and working long term with his firm, he became a councillor for a union - which led him into politics. When asked why he wanted to become an MP he answered: “I wanted to raise the profile of Middlesbrough it’s not given the best light. It’s about time people realised its potential.” O n e of h i s m a i n i s s u e s with Middlesbrough was the transport system, informing us that a train journey from Saltburn to Darlington took 53 minutes for a thirty mile journey and joking that “Usain

Bolt could run it faster.” His solution to this? We don’t know. Although he went into great detail about this problem, he failed to tell us how he would actually improve this. Another important issue h e ta l ke d a b o u t wa s th e high crime rates in the area. After taking a trip to Texas, Andy observed the wa y

they worked with criminals, learning that through various researches the Texas police have decided that prison isn’t always the best option. Other forms of punishment in Texas include early intervention and restorative justice, in which the criminal sits with the victim and discusses the crime and its effect.

NCS get personal

By Kyra & Jade


irstly, we would like to begin by telling you what NCS is all about and why it exists. N C S s tand s for N a t i o n a l Citizen Service. This gives teena gers (a ged 15-17) an opportunity to take action, listen to the members of the public and help improve the communities that we live in. In our case, it was the Redcar and Cleveland area. Moreover, the course also gives them a chance to meet new people their own age from the same area and accomplish individual skills or even help find hidden talents that you never knew you had! You’re a teenager and besides oxygen, food and drink, your life will most likely depend on the internet and socialising

with peopl e on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, etc doesn’t it? Let’s agree to disagree… Just imagine having no internet and no signal for a week. S ta r t i n g o n M o nd a y 4 th August 2014, a group of 43 teena gers, bo ys and girls (including us), had joined up to take part on the NCS project. The first week away was on a residential they’d never been on before, consisting of sharing a bedroom with four beds, with over 40 strangers. Except for the odd one or two… During our first week away from home from Monday to Friday, many different types of people from different “stereotypes” had the opportunity to go to Pickering and visit Peat Rigg. Peat Rigg is a fantastic outdoor

activity centre that helped us and many other members of our group (Group B - The Record Breakers) improve on many skills and, learn the importance of friendship and teamwork for the next three to four weeks during our project. The project consists of four weeks away with people and trying out new, never before experienced activities. Being a part of project three, our team learnt various amounts of skills such as teamwork, communication, but most of all, respect and determination along with encouragement. Many goals, fears and records were broken and reached while being away at Peat Rigg. This then led onto more personal goals and fears th at many people suffer with outside of

To vote Peat Rigg and the NCS that can be related to all ages! This is the story of Jess Lowe: A lovely and very lively female (aged 16) conquered her fear of heights, while receiving support and encouragement from the group and members of staff to get up and try something she thought would never be beaten. Group B was bes t known for giving the support that everybody needed. We had plenty of determination and effort to put into good use! Jess faced one of her biggest fears while being attached to a rope and much more specialist equipment while dangling down over the edge of a bridge doing abseiling! Not long after Jess was safely clipped into her harness, she was “buzzing” to say that she had almost reached the floor safely, while the rest of the team came in closer to help her down, with a face filled with joyful expressions! Although Jess never made it to the top of the zip wire, she had gained so much confidence in just under 48 hours to take her to conquer one of the things she was most afraid of! However, if it wasn’t for the truly outstanding friends and extremel y supportive team members and staff l eaders she had met while being away on the NCS at Peat Rigg, she doesn’t know if she would have had as nice an experience. Jess is almost certain that if she had the chance to go again, she would!

BY Jack Brown


ngland h as become a c o u n tr y o f p u b l i c democracy; a country that has stood out as a beacon to all others and set examples of freedom and equality for all, and there is onl y one reason we as a nation have got to such a stage: because of the people of yesterday. The people who have made their voice heard through brute force where required. The people who marched through the streets and demanded that they have a vote so their voice may be heard; the people who stood outside parliament in their thousands and refused to move so that their voice may be heard. But the people of yesterday are gone and they have left us; they crafted a nation so th at we can mould it further into hopefull y an e ve n g re a te r n a t i o n . I therefore think it should be understood that to vote is not just your right, but to vote is your responsibility: your responsibility to the people of yesterday and to your fellow man to change this nation, your nation and my nation for the better. The high turnout in the Scottish referendum provides some consolation, but whether this will be repeated in future election, remains arguably unlikely.


Voice of the Community

A Fresh Start

By Robyn Gooch


h e tr a n s i t i o n f r o m s e c o nd a r y s c h o o l t o college can be pretty nerve racking for some peopl e, especiall y those who are leaving their hometown for

further education. Talking from experience, I was extremely apprehensive about going to college since I was with a new group of people that I had never met before. However, within the

first week I had managed t o m a k e f r i e n d s wi t h a group of students who had attended the college the year previously, even though I am a ridiculously shy person. In my opinion, if you’re worrying about going to college on your own - don’t. There will always be people who like the same music or share the same interests as you, however the y might also be just as shy as you. All this means is that you should try to make others feel comfortable and start the conversations. The more you take yourself out of your co m for t zo n e, th e m ore your confidence will grow. In addition to that, activities which challenge what you are comfortable with will stretch this confidence barrier as well as help break the ice with those around you.

The National Citizen Service is another way which you can create new friendships and learn lots of different s k il l s to h e l p you i n th e future. Like college, I also joined the NCS programme alone in an attempt to make myself feel more comfortable around strangers without constantly feeling nervous. And, to be extremely honest, I recommend anyone who is shy or quiet to take up these extra opportunities, whether it be something that the NCS offers, an out of school club or even a local sports team. So, to anyone who is feeling scared about going to college or even moving to a new town, there will always be people feeling the same as you and these people may even share your hobbies or interests. But…You’ll never know if you never ask.

By Josh Crombie


w a s b o r n wi t h a r a re condition called haemophilia, which essentially means that my joints and my muscles don’t like doing much work before they pack in.

Th i s c an b e co m e q u i te painful and it’s given me arthritis by the age of 15, preventing me from partaking in many activities in my life. Not on NCS however. Even though it was a condition the y h ad never heard of,

morning it was a scene out of mission impossible (I might have been mad from lack of sleep) because I proceeded to attempt to stealth my way across the courtyard, much to the amusement of the leader who saw me. I even pulled off a cheeky commando roll up to the door of the girl’s door... and pasted my face across the window. The next few days went a bit smoother after I got used to the early mornings but the fact remains that any difficulty I had stemmed from my own stupidity because all logistical issues had been sorted a week in advance. But it was the preparation and organisation (that I’m incapable of) done by the staff of Peat Rigg and the Imagine You Can leaders that have made my time on the residentials so enjoyable.

Beating bullying By Lorna Reeve


or the pas t two years I h ave been a mentor for BeatBull ying, an online organisation which aims to help teenagers with any issues they may face, through mentoring sessions with other fully trained young people, like me. As a mentor, I spend around six hours online each week, helping people in any way I can. A lot of my time is spent aiding the moderators in controlling chat as well as organising new mentors and the obvious - mentoring!

BeatBull ying training takes place all over the country, in schools and youth groups as well as during mass trainings in the holidays. At my first training session, I was terrified because I h ad never met anyone in my group before, but by the end we were all very close. We even had a guide dog who got her own badge and certificate! Personally, I really enjoy mentoring as it feels like I am giving back to a community who, quite literally, saved my life. L a s t ye a r, f o r t h e Tex t Santa appeal, I took it a step further and became a Media

Ambassador which involved being on morning TV, and h aving a camera in my living room! It was daunting at first but I actually really enjoyed it. I loved the idea of raising awareness for the charity as well as increasing the awareness of the charity and improving my own self esteem. This campaign was a great success with over 70 peopl e registering on the same night and many more following! Because of this, I also presented two assemblies in front of almost 300 people each time. These n ew ex p e r i e n c e s re a l l y

By Danielle Ware


Push through the pain th e y we l co m e d m e wi th open arms and th at very same night after meeting with some of the l eaders, we received probabl y the most enthusiastic phone call ever from an imagineyoucan member, who wanted to know everything they could about the condition. The y were eager to know how they could make my time on the course as enjoyable as possible whilst still making sure that I was treated the same as everyone else (I certainly wasn’t allowed to skive off from any activities I didn’t want to do!). We did however have to think inventively about how I would get the daily treatment I need as my mum had to stay in order for me to get it in time, because I had to make it out of my room across a courtyard and into the girl’s dorms all before 7am! I tell you the first

Depression is this a serious illness?

improved my confidence and helped me to realise th at helping people is so important to me. I also loved the fact I could help some people in the real world, as well as online. In my opinion, volunteering for any charity is an extremely rewarding experience and everyone should consider it in order to better their emotional intelligence, as well as giving you something great to put on your CV! If you enjoy working with peopl e and want to help 11-18 year olds with their issues, why not try signing up to become a BeatBullying mentor?

epression is more than simply feeling unhappy or fed up for a few days. When you are depressed you feel persistentl y sad for weeks or months, rather than just a few days. Yes, depression is a serious illness as it causes the deaths of thousands each year. Some people think that depression is trivial and not a genuine health condition, but depression is a real illness; it’s not a sign of weakness, and it’s not something you can just ‘snap out of’ by ‘pulling yourself together’. Th e il l n e s s a f f e c t s p e o pl e i n different ways and can cause a range of different symptoms, such as feeling constantly tired, insomnia, having no appetite and complaining of various aches and pains. There are lots of different illnesses in the world but depression is hard to diagnose and see. Lots of depressed people feel that they have to smile and act happy just to make other people h appy and to stop peopl e from questioning why they don’t seem happy. They also feel that they have to do things when they don’t feel up to it. Many peopl e wait a long time before seeking help for depression, but it is best to not delay. The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery. It is very important to seek help from your GP if you think you may be depressed, or you can call 111 NHS free line. They will be able to help, as speaking to someone is the first step on a road to recovery. Try this short test: w w w . n h s . u k / To o l s / P a g e s / depression.aspx Websites to visit: http://www.mind.org.uk/ http:// www.actionondepression.org/ Call lines: Action on depression: 0808 802 2020 (free even from mobil es), Information Service, Wednesdays, 2:00pm-4:00pm. NHS free line: 111


Voice of the Community

If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough By Lorna Reeve second time and was hoping for a medal.


uring our residential, we were able to visit Eston Leisure Centre and had a tour before meeting Sean Rose. He is a World Champion Water Skier, World Cup Gold Downhill Ski racer, Winter X Games medalist, Double Paralympian and Paralympic GB Athlete Ambassador. Besides his extreme hobbies, he is a motivational speaker. As a child, Sean loved sport and was extremely active: his first dream was to become a PE teacher. After leaving school, he signed to the RAF for 22 years! He was eventually posted to Bavaria for a snow survival school. Sadly, he had a terrible ski accident and broke a vertebra which paralysed him. His primary thought was whether he would ever play sport again, as he had five operations in as many weeks. During the talk, Sean showed us a quote which had inspired him since the accident:

‘If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough’. Following this ideology, Sean decided to quit his job and start working towards being able to ski again. He ended up moving to Canada, since snow is not exactly common in the UK, in order to pursue his dream. His work paid off, and he became the world champion water skier 10 years after his accident. In 2010 he won his first cup in skiing after reaching 88 mph, and competed in the X games and won a medal! He went to the Paralympics for the

Sadly, three days before the big day, he tore his shoulder. Determined to carry on, he still skied, but struggled. Finally, Sean spoke about more recent times. In April 2014, Sean and a group of friends aimed to snowkite across the biggest glacier in Europe in aid of Wings for Life. Unfortunately, Sean ended up ill with a bladder infection and unable to continue. After four attempts at rescue he was eventually saved. Sean has not accepted defeat however, and instead has organised the same trip for next year. He is also going to attempt a 100 mile kite buggying trip across the Mohabi Desert in the September. O ve r a l l , S e a n w a s a n ex tre m e l y inspirational character. He insisted that, if given the chance, he would not turn back time because he is who he is because of the accident. Sean’s outlook on life made many of us feel extremely humbled.

The Peat Rigg Experience By Rebekah Scanlan

ree climbing. Zip lining. Abseiling, are just T a few of the amazing and adrenaline filled activities you can experience at Peat Rigg. And if you aren’t up for something so physically challenging, then you could join in with bushcraft and roast “Sweeeeet” marshmallows on a fire (that you create yourself), or even do archery and improve

your aim by getting as many bullseyes as you can. Or even go canoeing, and put your communication and swimming skills (in case you capsize) to the test as you fight against the current of the river in a team effort. You can even take a dip in the water afterwards as a way to relax. The staff are all kind, supportive and will help you through any challenge. “The staff were great and encouraged me to conquer my fear of heights,” one person participating in the NCS said, sounding happy and enthusiastic about their week spent there. They would even recommend it to family and friends. Peat Rigg is a renewabl e and selfsustainable outdoors activity centre, and even has an award for the Best Educational Building in the 2014 Local Authority Building Control Excellence Pickering. It is a popular

PD Ports Visit

residential for schools and groups such as NCS who strive to get teens involved and having fun with people their own age they might not necessarily know. And with the lack of WiFi and signal at the Peat Rigg location you’re definitely going to have some quality bonding time! All their meals are even home-grown with fresh meat straight from the farm along with eggs from their chickens and vegetables they grow themselves in greenhouses. Everyone who went enjoyed themselves and would all recommend the residential experience to family, friends and anyone looking for adventure. Some even claimed they’d go again and said it rivalled and trumped other residentials they’ve been on over the years. It’s a great place to conquer fears and an even better place to make memories and friends.

Creative thinking By Alexandra India Moylan-Jones

By Matthew Hiser s part of our NCS imagineyoucan project, we A visited PD Ports to develop a greater insight about employment and career prospects on

Teesside. On a cold, early, dull morning we found ourselves boarding a minibus to get to Teesport and on arrival we met a pilot ship driver who briefed us on safety. Efficiency is of paramount importance at the port but safety is their main focus. We boarded a visitor’s boat to take a trip round the river. We were shown all around the river to some fascinating and iconic Teesside landmarks. A personal favourite of mine was driving the boat under the Transporter Bridge. All in all, it was a very successful trip which really opened our eyes to the massive scale of the ports and the wonderful jobs that go on there. We also filmed an interview with the Harbour Master who explained how the port works and gave a great insight into the amount of trade that comes in and out of the port and how important it is to Teesside.

When I first joined NCS I never imagined I’d get as many opportunities as I did. We were given lots of projects to get involved with throughout our course but my favourite by far was creating a short film with Chris Lavelle from Durham University. Along with fellow NCS students Sarah Stevens, Abi Bennington, Carly Dursley, Antonia Phillips, Robyn Gooch, Matthew Clark, Vanessa Barwick and Connor Shields we were given a brief of ‘the world is in our hands’ and were asked to create an advert but were onl y given three days to do everything! On the first day we were given the brief and brainstormed all our ideas, thinking of key themes and images we wanted in the advert. It took a while for us all to decide on what we wanted the advert to look like as we all had very different ideas but we decided to take inspiration from a selection of different video clips we’d seen until we had a very basic idea in our heads of how the advert was going to end up. The next day we developed our plan to show exactly what we wanted the short film to look like; we all had very specific ideas in our minds and trying to incorporate everyone’s ideas was much harder than we thought. Eventually though, we had a drawn up storyboard (hands are really hard

to draw!) including developed words and images we wanted in the scenes. Finally with everyone happy and a final plan you could start to see our advert really coming together. In a total of five hours we’d taken a brief, formed an idea, developed and fine tuned it and now suddenly - in no time at all - we were ready to film! Filming the advert was surreal to say the least. We all took turns getting called up to shoot our section of the video, the whole setting was bizarre, it was strange to see how films and adverts could be made so well with one camera, a dark room and a few blinding studio lights. In order get the best effect we needed to wear a hoodie backwards and cover our faces while stepping in and out of shot. It was terrifying with all the wires on the ground! Overall the filming took around two hours, so much shorter than I could have imagined. Wh at was the best part of the whol e experience though? It’s an easy answer: the end product. When we were sent the finished advert and finally got to sit and watch as the little film we created with our heads come to life in front of your eyes, it was something very special. To be able to look at a professionally made short film and be able to say ‘that was my idea’ or ‘those are my hands,’ made me feel like I’d really accomplished something! It was amazing.

Imagine you have talent By Anna McGairy


ne of the most memorable nights on our second week of residential was the talent show, in which the stage was open to any act to display their own special talent. So, without further ado, we shall begin with the commendations, and jubilate the winning positions in descending order. In third place was Eddie, whose acoustic guitar rendition of ‘New Shoes’ by Paolo Nutini included impressive and unique vocals that could very well hold the future of a budding new artist and with mesmerising rhythms on the guitar proved that men can indeed multitask. Succeeding in joint second place were Claudia and Vanessa, who’s contrasting styles of dance were both equally enthralling. The extremely flexible Vanessa performed a dramatic acro routine, with incredible precision and control, contorting her body into fascinating positions that looked barel y possibl e for the avera ge human being. Claudia went down the less travelled road of belly dancing… and brought the house down! As the biggest surprise of the night, the selftaught performer proved that her hips really DON’T lie; as a result of her crowd-pleasing stage presence she twerked her way into the top three. And last but not least, the overall victor of the night was Tom, who’s incredible MC skills displayed truly livened up the crowd and got most dancing on their feet within the space of a minute. Although his swift, and somewhat pixelated speech resulted in a lack of understanding for some, the overall message was clear: dance! It was nice to see people of all abilities taking part, and some worthy mentions for talent or originality include a comedy act mocking the rituals of Snapchat and clapping to music; a powerful and beautiful rendition of Hallelujah; a very emotional, teartriggering performance of Paramore’s Misguided Ghosts; and a flowing demonstration of martial arts, with the use of a threatening black belt sword! By far the most inspiring act was during the break while the judges deliberated; fake boobs, a crop top and a belly dancing skirt were donned by our resident Alan Carr for the night: Aaron. Strutting proud onto centre stage to the Queen of Sass, Miss Beyoncé Knowles herself, I think it’s fair to say that by the end of the night he became known as THE ‘Single Lady’. Who knew that twerking could have such class?


Voice of the Community

You will never be scared of heights ever again

NCS One Year On By Bethany Hunter


ooking back at the past 12 months now, it seems so strange to think how much has changed: how much I’ve changed. After summer 2013, when I’d completed the NCS programme, I couldn’t help but feel a littl e disappointed th at the project was over, as I’d had such a busy summer and I was now heading off to college. Fortunately for me however, the end of the summer NCS was actually the beginning of an even bigger NCS journey. I was lucky enough to be selected to attend the NCS Leaders Course, which helped me develop my personal l eadership skills and gave me the opportunity to visit 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. Furthermore, when I returned home I was abl e to volunteer with imagineyoucan for the Autumn project, which allowed me to transfer the skills I’d learnt on the leaders course and I wanted to ensure that everybody had as good an experience on the course as I’d had. This then carried on for the spring project, and so in the Summer I was able to come back as a mentor and media assistant which was fantastic. I’d loved working on the newspaper last year as an editor, and so to

be able to come back and share my experiences with this year’s editor’s to help this newspaper be the best one yet felt like a real accomplishment. Through NCS Leaders, I was also able to take up lots of fantastic opportunities. I’ve been able to take part in professional media skills training sessions in London, attend the launch of the ‘Big Change’ partnership with NCS and meet Princess Beatrice, give my opinions on issues affecting young peopl e directl y to the Cabinet Secretary and be NCS’ representative on the Children’s

panel to help sel ect the next Children’s Commissioner. As well as this, I’ve been able to write extensively about my experiences for local media, and was also involved in a national campaign exploring the ‘Evolution of a Teenager’ for the Sunday Times. For everyone who has graduated this year, don’t think that your experience has to end just because the programme has. There are so many other opportunities for graduates, so take every one that you can because you don’t know where you’ll be in a year’s time - I know I certainly didn’t!

Religion at the NCS By Hasnain Khan


y first-hand experience away from home and being in a foreign environment left me quite anxious and nervous as I was about to meet new people and spend four weeks with them, which was rather daunting and intimidating. The NCS programme was an e n l i g h te n i n g a nd e ye - o p e n i n g experience where I overcame many of my personal fears such as my fear of heights and fear of water. The NCS staff were always very friendly and respected my religious practices, as I am a devout Muslim and pray five times a day. My roommates were not familiar with my religious

practices, however they were very accepting and made me feel very comfortable and at ease: especially when I had to get up early at 4am for my morning prayer, in a room that the NCS staff had provided for me. Many have asked me, especially my roommates, how I have the energy to get up so earl y for my morning prayer and how I manage to defeat my l eth argy. I say to them th at I physically have to force myself out of bed, therefore I don’t have the luxury off drifting off to sleep again. I suppose my body gets used to getting up at 4am because that is the time I usually get up when I am fasting in the month of Ramadan. Ramadan is the Muslim fasting month where a person fasts for

approximately 18 hours during the day without food or water. Meeting pra yer times was very physicall y challenging, especiall y when I had to carry out ablution, which is a religious practice where one washes themselves before praying. The building was unfamiliar to me too which made praying even harder, because I was continuously getting lost down corridors in an attempt to find my prayer room. However, the staff’s guidance was very much appreciated because they were always around when I needed help or assistance, and their support made me feel a lot more closer to home. I am very grateful for their tolerance, help and understanding.

Sea Cadets By Jacob Battison


he Sea Cadets is an organisation where you learn new skills, such drill and leadership, and can take part in activities such as rowing and sailing. The Sea Cadets h ave a unit in Redcar, where sessions start at 1900 hours and finish at 2100 hours. During those two hours (every Monday and Thursday), you can learn new skills or expand on existing life skills if you are between 10 and 18 years old. The Sea Cadets can train you either onshore or offshore, and you will also work

with other Cadets from different parts of your district to navigate around Britain’s coast. In my opinion, the water based activities are the most enjoyable part of Sea Cadets. These however only happen in the summer, due to there being more daylight hours and better weather. During your time at Cadets you will experience lots of unique challenges. Hoisting the sail of a yacht and feeling the wind take you in the direction of your choice is exhilarating. This feeling of being out in the summer is unique and special. As a Sea Cadet, you can earn

qualifications that can be help in later life. The course can provide you with certificates in a whole range of skills from sailing, yachting, diving and even marine engineering. The qualifications are valued in later life, as most are recognised by the leading UK bodies including the RYA, British Canoe Union, British Sub Aqua Club and St Johns’ Ambulance. Overall, the Sea Cadets provide many opportunities and has many advantages. I believe that everyone should participate in this type of organisation in order to gain greater experience for later in life.

By Matthew Jones


f you want to conquer your fear of heights there are several ways to do this. Here are some tips to help achieve your goal. We h ave overcome our fear of heights on the National Citizen Service programme, through trusting each other and with encouragement from our team mates. For example, I’m terrified of heights and I would never try to climb anything because I had no real previous experience doing it. My fear was that the equipment would come loose or break, even though I know this is highly unlikely. However, the staff at Peat Rigg were all extremely well-trained so they made sure that the equipment was secure, and I managed to trust in that. They will make sure that you are safe, even when you are climbing up a tree and I have become more comfortable with heights because I had the support of my whole team - which also made me more determined to reach the top of the tree. They gave me advice on where to put my hands and feet and supported me all the way to the top! I felt really proud when I reached the top because I was out of my comfort zone, but I still pushed myself to achieve this challenge. To help prepare for facing your fear of heights, here are four points you should consider. Firstl y, prepare your mind. Don’t think ‘what if’; make sure you are well focused as even a small lapse in concentration can cause you to make mistakes. Secondly, trust your teammates, you won’t accomplish anything without the trust of your team. Furthermore, Relax: when you get scared your muscles tighten up and you will get cramps that are painful and it can make the situation more difficult. Another important thing is to not look down straight away! Seeing how far you are up initially can be incredibly scary; however if you look down every time you climb up, then you are gradually getting used to heights and you will be less scared of heights. Most importantly however, try to enjoy yourself and embrace the new experience: you might realise you love it!


Voice of the Community

Voice of the Community

The Junction Foundation By Hatty Wright-Mc Carthy


he Junction is an amazing charity based in Redcar, that aims to help young people and their families when they are in need. They take young people who might be vulnerable or having a really hard time and give them someone to talk to. This helps many young people face their problems and find solutions to whatever hardships they are going through. It also goes one step further than that and also helps the families or guardians of the young people so they can understand what their children are going through and try and support them. The type of peopl e th at The Junction helps are

vulnerable young people, young carers and young people who are self harming, suicide prone or have anxiety or depression. They do brilliant things for the people who go there: one young person even said: “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for The Junction,” which really does prove how much this charity does to improve and change lives. The Junction also has a drop in service where you can go and talk to people without having to be referred to the Junction. This service is for people suffering things such as homelessness, money problems and suicidal thoughts. They also deal with more serious cases, such as young people running away from gang violence. We therefore decided to throw a family fun day for the

Raising money for Teenage Cancer

Teenage Cancer Trust By Lorna Reeve


uring the home residential week at Redcar racecourse, we were given a talk about the Teenage Cancer Trust and the work that they do to help young people suffering from cancer. They also came to educate us about how to spot the five main signs of cancer to help catch the disease early: lumps, bumps or swelling, pain, exhaustion, weight loss and changes to moles or marks. Along with representatives from the Trust we met the parents of Georgina Anderson, a 15 year old girl who was diagnosed with liver cancer. Georgina was a ta l ented musician and h ad previously performed at many different gigs, but sadl y, she passed awa y last year just four months after she was diagnosed with this extremel y aggressive cancer. Her mother Helen showed extreme strength as she described her daughter as a bright and bubbly person who told every visitor that they were not allowed to stop smiling and to look after each other. She spoke about the support many celebrities and other people showed towards the family and her daughter, as well as their well-known campaign to get Georgina’s cover of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ to go viral. Amazingl y, her dream was fulfilled and, even more amazingly, Georgina’s own song, ‘Two

Thirds of a Piece’, was released and reached number 63 in the UK charts. Paul, her dad continued by showing us some of their fundraising efforts so far. Georgina helped and supported her friends’ participate many different events, including the Boxing Day Dip. A Charity Concert was also organised with Joe McElderry coming to perform which she managed to attend and thoroughly enjoyed. Both her parents smiled while talking about their daughter and ensured her positive message was sustained throughout the presentation. To finish off the presentation, Zoe Hull spoke about the charity’s facilities in Newcastle, and about some of their fundraising ideas. She also showed how the Teenage Cancer Trust’s facilities can make teenagers feel comfortable, with bright ‘teen-style’ motifs and personal spaces, as well as a kitchen to ensure a sense of independence. The Trust have dedicated fundraising ideas like ‘Time for T’ where people decide to do anything beginning with T, for instance Tea parties or Taste tests. All of the speakers were extremel y informative and very interes ting, teaching us more about the subject. Personally, it made me really want to fundraise for the cause and the group was inspired to dedicate their social action project to raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust.

Junction at Redcar Racecourse to raise some money for them, as we thought it would be a good idea to give something back to them. The day was incredible; everyone came together as a community. There was facepainting, games, food and even a photobooth that allowed the families who came to capture the day in a unique and memorable way. Instead of asking families to pay for what they wanted to do we used donation boxes, to make everything more affordable for a wider range of people. To learn more about this fantastic charity, and to see how their work benefits a vast array of young people, go to www.thejunctionfoundation.com.

By Jade Smith


he day after the sad passing of Georgina Anderson, Rye Hills school created a Facebook page to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. It was (and still is) called “Rye Hills Raising Money for Teenage Cancer”, and we post about upcoming events from our school and success stories of other fundraising in aid of Teenage Cancer and Georgina Anderson. To start with we ran raffles (donated by Simple Gifts and Amanda Baxtrem) and cancer ribbon sales (which were created by Sam Buckeridge). We then began organising a concert where Rye Hills students would perform tributes to Georgina, which reminded them of her personality and outlook on life with songs such as “Never Grow Up” performed by Singing Club, “Mountains” performed by Georgia Dixon & Mr Heathcoat (Rye Hills music teacher) and “Lullaby” performed by Jade Agar and Taylor Richardson. The whole process showed that all the students understood Georgina’s life and how to portray her. We had several special guests at the concert, including Georgina’s parents, Paul and Helen, Mia Flood (who is from Redcar Academy and shaved her hair in Memory of Georgina), Anna Dawson (from Brilliant Britain who filmed the concert for a memorial episode about Georgina), and the Evening Gazette.

The concert was a hit and the school hall was full to bursting point! We had about 24 performers all from different year groups and a mixture of known performers and new ones. The highlight of the concert was meeting Paul and Helen and hearing from Paul about his daughter’s amazing life. Another good part was the feeling of accomplishment the next day when the money was counted. I had raised £713.95 in under four months for Teenage Cancer Trust with the help of a few members of staff and select students. On 18th June 2014 we conducted our presentation to Teenage Cancer; Zoe Hull from the Teenage Cancer Trust came to Rye Hills and gave the year 10’s a presentation about Teenage Cancer and some of the work that they do. Then three students performed: Georgia Dixon & Miss Parker with “Dancing in the Sky”; me with “Little Talks” and Arran Newton and Ethan Barker with “Different Worlds”. At the presentation we also handed the money over to Teenage Cancer Trust and the year ten’s in the assembl y found it very moving, and remembered Georgina. Hopefully next year the fundraising will continue; lead by Georgia Dixon with the help of Mr Appleby, who is very helpful when it comes to fundraising by the students.

Georgina Anderson “The brave might not live forever but the cautious do not live at all” By Jade Smith


eorgina Anderson was one of the bravest people I have ever heard of and had the opportunity to fundraise in memory of and her outlook on life was phenomenal even in the darkest of times. Her attitude towards her illness and her amazing talent got everyone in the local area through some heartbreaking times. She sparked a reaction within a community of many thousands of people, many of whom did not have the opportunity to meet Georgina but were still inspired to fundraise. Georgina Anderson died on 14th November 2013 after a long and strenuous battle with Stage 4 Liver Cancer.

Between diagnosis and death she was strong and refused to let her illness get her down; she organised fundraising events from her hospital bed in the Teenage Cancer Trust’s 13-18 base at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle. She attended many events which were in her name such as a music event where she met Joe McElderry and organised a sponsored walk. She was also able to attend a Middlesbrough FC football match at home and was wheeled onto the pitch at half time while her song “Two Thirds of a Piece” was played to the crowd. Georgina sadly died only three weeks after her 15th birthday and her story has touched everyone that have heard about her. Her amazing voice and personality

(which according to her parents, Paul and Hel en, sometimes included some humour about her illness) caused people to re-evaluate their lives and do something in memory of her. Many hundreds of condolences flooded in for her friends and family which helped them through a difficult time as Paul and Helen both feel that the fundraising and messages are helping them get through the loss of their daughter. Money is still flooding into the Teenage Cancer Trust in memory of Georgina; the total is close to £50,000. If you would like any more information about Georgina or can help with fundraising pl ease contact the Remembering Georgina Facebook page or The Teenage Cancer Trust’s website.



Voice of the Community

British Sign Language

Reach for the stars By Samantha Brudenell


By Shannon Jackson ritish Sign Language, or more commonly Bhearing known as (BSL), is visual language for the impaired.

My awareness of sign language began at the start of secondary school, picking up signs when I had the opportunity. I went through school being an underachiever and was picked on and bullied. At the end of school I left with low grades except in art and catering. I made huge progress with my signing when I got a place at CCAD: I met someone who was deaf and quickly formed a strong friendship with her, which helped me to improve my sign language and to sign more fluently. Soon after meeting my friend I signed up for a (Level 1 BSL) part-time course. At the beginning I found the classes easy, but when I progressed beyond my ability I started struggling; balancing sign language and art was not easy and I found it very time consuming with all the travelling after college just to attend. But I remained determined and managed to achieve an A* in Art and Design level 2 and I am now awaiting my sign language result. Sign language has a very long history and the first records of its existence dates before 5BC. In Britain, Royal Commision of the Blind, Deaf and Dumb was issued in 1889 which was dedicated to determining which forms of communication were most effective. ‘Methods’, or oral communication, was quickly focused on and the commission voted highly for deaf people to communicate using oral methods instead of visual, and to discourage sign language. This commission saw the end of sign language in the educational system. Hearing parents were told not use sign language with their deaf children and to only use speech/ lip-reading to communicate, which resulted in deaf children having to rely on parents more and poor attitudes grew. Over 70% of deaf children left school with no social skills, low qualifications and the reading equivalent of a seven year old. In the 90’s rules started to be relaxed, schools started to use sign language again. On the day of British sign language 100th anniversary Princess Diana raised awareness by using sign language at their celebration. On the 18th March 2003 the British government gave BSL recognition as an official language. Variations of BSL Variation plays a huge part in sign language. It varies on your background and is similar to accents in the hearing world. Generations are constantly updating signs that suit the world as we see it today. Variations in sign are commonly debated between deaf people because of the huge range of signs that exist. Facial expressions Facial expression are important in sign language because deaf people cannot hear your tone of voice. For example if someone was angry you would be able to tell by their tone of voice, but in sign language you need to put that into a facial expression to show your mode. Even though I do not have such a close bond with my deaf friend, sign language is still a big part of my life. Sign language is like another way of expressing myself as I am a person that finds it hard to communicate verbally because of my everyday battle with autism. With autism words come out jumbled, sentences don’t sound right and understanding things feels like you are on a different planet to your friends, often resulting in looking like a misfit. Signing is another way of communicating in an non-oral way and proves to be stress relieving at times.

re you sick to death of everyone saying you will never be able to get the job you want? Well now is the time for you to say “YES I can!”. Now is the time to stand up and go for wh at you want, not what anyone else wants. If your parents tell you they don’t think you will be able to get the job you want, listen to them and consider their advice but say: “Well I’m going to try anyway.” You have to take every chance you can get, because you might not get it again. People tell you that you can’t do everything that you want to do, but

it’s time to believe in your dreams and go for what you believe in. I believe and n ow my de c i s i o n s have been made. If by any chance I don’t get to where I want to be then I will go for my backup plan and I think you should do the same. By the time you have read this everyone will have picked up their results and I congratulate everyone. Even if they weren’t what you were expecting, you are still one step closer to achieving something. One thing visitor always seem to sa y when the y come into my school is ‘plan what you want to in life’. I know what you’re thinking: “I don’t exactly know what

I want to do in life”. That’s fine; most peopl e don’t know what they want in life, especially at our age, but in the future I’m sure everyone will have an idea of what they want to do. People say that they do know what job they want to do but sometimes they don’t really, but it’s up to them what they want to say and do. Good luck with your future. I hope you get everything you want and I hope you finall y realise wh at you want in life. I know I might be saying hope a lot but I really do hope this article helps you realise what you really want to do in life not what anyone else wants you to do in life.

A day in the life of an aspiring comedian By Josh Crombie thought that the funny men I- always on TV had the best job possible that they spend all their time driving round the country making jokes and eating take-aways. I recently had the chance to perform my very own stand-up routine and let me tell you, only 50% of being a comedian is any good; the take-aways are abysmal! B u t I h ave to s a y a s s o o n as I got up on the stage in my wheelchair (I was hoisted on by two strapping young lads) my heart was in my mouth and my legs were turned to jelly by the unflinching gaze of the audience. I opened my mouth with the first line and it was like all the nerves h ad been flushed away in the sea of laughter (although I looked down and saw I was shaking more than David Cameron at a northern youth hostel). I even managed to keep the laughs coming for a full five

minutes! It doesn’t seem like much but it felt like time had stopped: but at the same time it felt like the whole thing was over in seconds but my mind was a whirl of witty banter. And the best wa y to celebrate a successful act was to go into the back room that was about one m i l l i o n d e g re e s w a r m and filled with adolescent perspiration. It didn’t matter though, because I was still riding high on adrenaline when I saw the cornetto that had been laid out for me, and it tasted like all the greatest victories combined. I didn’t even get into the top three! That wasn’t even a disappointment because the experience was probably one of the best of my life and I would recommend anyone who has even the glimmer of an interest in standing up (or in my case sitting down) and making people laugh to just go for it: you won’t regret it!

Surviving GCSE’s By Anon Smith evision is the ke y to R passing exams, obviously, as it helps remind you of

things you may not have done since the beginning of the academic year. There are many ways of revising effectivel y but reall y it’s all about what works best for you. The best wa y of finding out this would be to try out different methods such as mind maps, posters or even copying out the revision text in a way that you will find more interesting. Relaxation is one of the most important things as well; you physicall y and menta ll y cannot revise 24 hours a day and seven days a week! Your brain starts out as processing

the information at its best, then after around 20 to 30 minutes it s tarts to go downhill. So basicall y you need frequent breaks throughout your revision sessions; go make yourself some food or a drink, watch a short TV programme or even just have a scroll down Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It’s exam time, everyone is revising but you still need social time! It’s a great way to just chill out and forget about what the “angle x” means or how to write the perfect essay. Going out with your friends is still important. You could even go out for a while and then come back and do group studying, but you should make sure that you see your friends outside of school at

least once a week. S tre s s i s w h a t m a n y people have to deal with when the exam season comes around. Dea ling with this can sometime be confusing as many people do not know how to deal with it; luckily for you I’m here to tell you my top two tips! Indulging in physical activity is a great way to reduce stress, as it will also help you sleep more, which l eads perfectl y onto my next step… Sleep! It seems like the typical thing to say but many people forget how important sleep actually is, and they can stay awake till the early hours of the morning revising when it really does not help at all. Good luck in all exams you do, I know you will all do great!

Park Run By Samantha Brudenell


very Saturday at 9:00 am, millions of people run around parks all across the UK. Some people do it for a run to keep fit, but a lot of people do it to raise money for charities. One of the main charities that I have seen peopl e raising mone y for is Marie Curie Cancer Nurses, which is one of many amazing charities that truly deserves the support. This is the ch arity which my school h ad decided to raise money for. One of my teachers was sorting out a run for Marie Curie Cancer Nurses and asked if I would like to do it. I said yes and that is when I began collecting sponsors from anyone I could; family, friends and a lot of other peopl e th at I knew would support me. When it finally came to the day I had to run, it seemed really long, but when I found out it was onl y two and a quarter laps of Stuart Park my confidence grew and I knew I had the strength to complete the run. Luckily I had my friend and my brother to do it with me, otherwise I don’t know if I would have had the strength to complete the run. I had the support from my mother who stood by me and pushed and supported me to carry on throughout the race. I also had the support from the teachers at my school and mainly the head teacher, Miss Hare, who turned up to encourage me. When the run started the a m o u n t of p e o p l e t h e re shocked me, especia ll y because there were people who had ran it 500 times or even more! As I was running people were passing me and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it, but the thought that I was raising money in the process kept me going. When it came down to the final part of the race, I was so relieved because I had completed a run that I had never thought possible beforehand. Th at following Monda y I found ou t h ow m u c h th e school had predicted we’d raised: it was £300 or more, which is a real achievement in my opinion! If I was given th at opportunity a gain, I think I would do it, because it is something you compete and participate in for a good cause. After that moment I was proud to say I completed it and I would encoura ge anyone else thinking of doing it to go right ahead. Doing something that will benefit not only others but yourself as well is fantastic; the sense of achievement and the valiant sense of giving to someone else is overwhelming. Sign up to the park run and you will find out what place you came. When I did the run I came 392nd out of 430 people. Now personally that is indeed a great achievement!


Voice of the Community

Thrown in at the deep end By Sarah Stevens year I dived head first into the LInast world of scuba diving. order to get your PADI open water

dive licence there is a lot of training to be done. I started in very shallow waterthe classroom, in fact. Over the five chapters in the PADI dive theory book, I learnt everything there is to know about the new equipment I would be using and how to care for it, all the safety procedures to take and everything in between. Eventually I got through it all, answered the 50 questions in the test and was finally allowed in the water! I completed my training dives as part of my family holiday to Gozo, because even though you can dive in the UK, the water is horrendously cold and the visibility is terrible - the Mediterranean sea filled with ocean life was definitely a better choice for me. Over the course of the week I did three confined water

dives in the bay and four open water dives in spectacular, world renowned dive sites such as ‘Blue Hole’ and the ‘Azure Window’ before I was finally given my licence. These dives, as well as getting me used to the gear and the feeling of being underwater, were to practice skills that would help me get the most out

of diving and making sure I would be safe if anything went wrong. It was a little tedious as I was desperate to just explore this new underwater world, but I knew being prepared for if my air source ran out, my equipment malfunctioned or I became lost was a top priority. After all this I was handed my licence, making me an official member of PADI and I’ve never felt so proud of any achievement! This year I went to Lanzarote to dive in the Atlantic Ocean and was amazed at the wildlife. As well as diving my first ship wrecks at Porta del Carmen, I saw angel sharks, sting rays, cuttlefish, moray eels, cleaner shrimp, octopuses and seahorses! I would urge anyone who is interested to get involved with scuba diving as it really opens up a lot - not only a new underwater world, but a whol e new community of people with the same interests and hobbies as you.

The knitting enthusiasts

By Lauren Rowland or the past few years, knitting has F sometimes been looked down upon as an unpopular thing, usually only associated

with older people. In the beginning of Jul y 2014, Redcar was struck with more yarn creations. Although nobody knows who they are, the Gazette received an anonymous call that

Connor Shields’ Art By Connor Shields


few months ago I entered a competition hosted by the One Show for under 18 amateur artists. I found out about th i s c o m p et i t i o n through my college tutors who suggested that I enter a piece of my work. I didn’t expect my work to get very far in th e c o m p et i t i o n , so I didn’t think much about it until I received a phone call informing me that I was shortlisted in the competition. A week later I received another phone call saying that I was in the final 12: my work was going to be displayed in the Royal Academy of Arts, in London. I was ecstatic that I got my work in a famous London Gallery at the age of 17. The piece of work that I did, was a mixed media piece of Hearst Castle, in California. It was initially a development s tudy th at I

created for a college assignment th at I was working on. I h ad no intention of entering it into any competition. To think that I would b e tr a v e l l i n g t o London to see it was incredible! I travell ed down to London in Jul y with my friend. We were initially going there for a short holiday, so getting my work into the gallery made the trip more exciting and definitely more memorable. As well as visiting galleries and viewing art work, we spent the week exploring London. We went to museums and visited famous sights and landmarks and went shopping. To summarise my experience, viewing my work in a national gallery was fantastic and my greatest achievement so far. In the future I hope to study art at a higher level at university and hopefully show more of my work in another gallery.

informed people that they call themselves ‘the Redcar yarn fairies’. This anonymous call claimed that the youngest person in the group is only 32 and that there are also male knitters as well as female ones, showing that knitting isn’t just for elderly widows, but for anyone and everyone who wants to join in with this ever-growing craze. The Redcar yarn fairies have displayed their work next to the infamous vertical pier and have created many symbolic items that relate to the culture of Redcar, like a bucket and spade and Redcar rock on the seafront. I can imagine that these ninja grannies go out in the dead of the night and put up their creations like a spy that sneaks about! The fact that people do this all over is very inspirational, especially for younger people who enjoy knitting like myself. I have been knitting for just over a year now and I am planning to make a huge multi-coloured blanket that covers a king size bed. My next project is socks; these aren’t the easiest of things to make but I will not give in!

Surviving scouts By James Brand o you ever feel bored on long nights? D Well, look no further! Your Wednesday nights will be filled for ever more and you may even learn

something new! I have been scouting for more than five years and it was one of the best choices I have ever made. Every week I go to scouts to have a laugh and learn something new like knots, life skills and more. If you also feel like becoming the next Bear Grylls, as a scout, you will go on camp trips and gain practical experience so you can enjoy the wilderness. This is my personal experience with scouting. I’m now too old to be a scout so I have become a cub leader at my old cub group which means a lot more responsibility than I’ve ever had. This took some time to get used to but now I love it. Instead of joining in on the games I had grown to love, I started to run them which felt weird. Back when I was a scout I used to really enjoy learning all the knots, but now I was teaching them I enjoyed it even more. So in general I think scouting is a reall y exhilarating, fun and exciting hobby. For me it was one of the most worthwhile experiences of my life and I am consistently using the skills I learnt both as a scout and a leader in all aspects of my life. If you are between the age of 8-10 and fancy giving cubs a try come along to Highcliffe primary school in Guisborough from 6-8pm on Wednesday nights, or get in contact with your local scout group.

The next step By Callum Thomas fter secondary school is all done A and dusted, what is left to do and where will the future lead us?

This was something new for me, going on a trip to a new place with people I barely know and even now when I look back it’s funny, because those same people I didn’t know, I now feel like I can trust deeply. Anyway, this isn’t about the NCS trip, this is about the steps that it takes for teenagers now, compared to before if you want to take them. This is a new start for all teenagers where the world is now an open sea with college and sixth form right around the corner. However, it’s also hard to choose where to go because there will always be the place where all your friends are going which therefore will always be a first choice in your mind , you usually have two options; a place where all your friends are going and that is all modern and new, and the place that is right for you. There’s nothing to say that the place that is modern and new isn’t the right place for you. For me, I always wanted a place that involved both of those choices, in other words the perfect place. I did end up finding the right place for me, it may not be high tech but it doesn’t need to be as long as the teachers are nice there and they have the subjects you want to do. Another big question here is what to do when I get older. Some people my age already have it all planned out; what they’re going to do, where they’re going to work etc. Then you have other people who have no idea what they’re going to do: they’re just going to do the subjects which they like in college and see where the tide takes them. I’m in the middle as I neither have a certain plan but I have an idea as to what I want to go on to to do. However it is a hard decision as time still has not passed and the tide may take me on a path I never knew of before. What I mainly would like to do is something like psychology or law as both are so interesting to me. On the other hand in college I do have to take other subjects to back the other ones up, for example I’m taking maths as it was always a subject I was good at but not something I would like to do as a job, as I think it would be too tedious and boring to do as a job for me personally. It’s a hard choice when thinking this is going to be with you on your CV for the rest of your life. S e e i n g a s I ’ m ta l k i n g a b ou t the future I thought that I would mention what university seems like to teenagers. University is one those places that seems to be where you finall y decide what you want to do with your life, such as jobs, and where you finally go out with friends on a general night out. However, I still don’t know what I would do at university nor would I know what it would be like when I get there. However, I’m hopeful of what it would be like and that I would enjoy the experience. I will not know where I’ll be when I’m older, and I don’t know where I’ll go in the future but I look forward to it and continue working towards it.


Voice of the Community

The Great War By Antonia Phillips

Trench warfare; the most prevalent feature of World War One.

ruesome conditions are bound to arise G when several battalions of men are dumped in a cesspit of rabid rats, feasting

on the flesh of the dead and biting those on whom death is undoubtedl y soon encroaching. Repugnant clouds of methane gas poisoned the air originating from the rotting latrines - a typical target for enemy fire. Puddles of stinking urine and malevolent rainwater would have submerged the wooden duckboards lining the pit, eradicating the line between latrine and living space; not to mention the fatal diseases manifesting itself within the tousled earth, causing as many casualties as enemy fire. Where there is war, there must be weaponry. Where there is weaponry, there

must be enemy fire. Both allies and enemies with young pioneers fighting for their country with their experimental, avantgarde artillery, conscripted into dying by the watchful eye of Lord Kitchener. 8,904,000 soldiers of the British Empire, all trained to manoeuvre lethal weaponry, the most infamous of which being the bayonet; a most primitive invention used to stab at close range. Secondly, the use of deadly canisters of mustard gas contaminating the

PTSD in our British soldiers By Lacey Horton


TSD stands for post-traumatic s tr e s s d i s o r d e r, a n d i s essentiall y a memory filing error. It can happen when people are exposed to an extraordinary lifethreatening situation which is perceived with intense fear, horror and helplessness. Someone with PTSD will often relive the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. They may also have problems sleeping, as a result of insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life. The war in Iraq may have ended several years ago but the war is still very much going on in Afghanistan, and indeed for some troops who’ve returned home. Two to seven percent of our brave service men and women are now fighting the battle of PTSD, and it is reported in The Telegraph that ‘the government should wake up’ because more British soldiers committed suicide due to PTSD than the amount of soldiers that have died in battle. It’s time we raised more awareness of PTSD

and provided more support before any of our honourable men or women unfortunately lose their fight. PTSD doesn’t just affect soldiers however. Many people who have experienced a traumatic event, such as being the victim of a crime or an accident may also suffer. There are many local charities that are available for help if you are aware that you or someone you know or love that has PostTraumatic stress disorder. Please encourage those to seek help as there are many reasons they may not want to; they may be alone, scared or maybe just embarrassed about the fact it is classed as a ‘mental health’ disorder. They have done their bit, it’s time we do ours! C o n ta c t s : S S A FA - h tt p s : // www.ssafa.org.uk/how-we-help/ forcesline/ North East Veterans Network - www.northeastveterans.net/ directory.html IAPT - http://www.wellbeinginfo. org/Primary-Care V R M H P - h t t p : // w w w . rc p s yc h . a c . u k /m e m b er s / mhaforexservicemenwomen.aspx Mind - http://www.mind.org.uk/ information-support/types-ofmental-health-problems/?gclid=C OPPyLTPnMACFUfnwgod03sA1w

once fresh air, drowning those who dare to breathe, is nothing of a secret. The drone of machine guns, the blast of grenades and the growl of tank tracks linger in the thoughts of every soldier, reducing some to shells, not able to cleanse their mind and eradicate the true pandemonium of a world war. The lesser known instruments of mass destruction are the trench mortars (a short, stumpy tube designed to fire a projectile at a steep angle) and the flamethrower (tubes filled with burning solids, i.e. coal and sulphur, with one end of the tube blown into and the burning solids thus propelled towards the operator’s enemies). This year, 2014 marks the centenary of the beginning of the Great War; a war in which more than 900,000 Britons were killed: 107,000 of whom were civilians. This war was the first war involving 32 countries with the incorporation of pointblank warfare on a worldwide scale. One hundred years ago, this year was only the beginning of an earth-destroying war; another four years were to shake the globe, with the obliteration of the promise, “It’ll all be over by Christmas”. Let us remember those who died for their country; both allies and our then enemies.

My art work By Lauren Rowland

h ave just finished my Ienjoyed GCSE Fine art course and I it so much: learning new ways to manipulate materials any way I liked was incredibl e and this helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses. I am enjoy painting in all types of mediums, including oils, watercolour, acrylic and gouache. I also enjoy using other materials to make collages, like a mixture of glue, paint, sand and paper. This experimentation led me to some fantastic discoveries for my art project at school.

M y n or m a l a r t s t yl e i s abstract but sometimes I divert to more fanatical pieces of work. Generally I create spontaneous images that just pop into my head - as long as I have paper to sketch it on. My inspiration comes from all around me, whether it is an old crumbling wall or a close-up of Picasso’s fantastic paintings. Also colours are a fundamental el ement in my pieces of artwork because this is what attracts a viewer’s eye. The colour wheel is the basis of my designs because I use harmonic colours and complementary colours to indicate how I perceive the world in my eyes. I try to make all my work bold and inviting as this is how artists make a statement! In addition to fine art I a l s o h ave a h o b by i n photography. I find capturing a still image sensational and there are many techniques to make an image attractive. I actually find that photos l o o k m ore d ra m a t i c i n black and white and have a great effect on the overall outcome.

Tributes to our charitable idols By Lucy Twist


owadays when people think of celebrities to look up to, they end up slating the likes of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, the ‘terrible’ role models our young generation has to look up to. But not all celebrities like to throw eggs at their fans and ‘twerk’ on national television. In fact, there are several charitable, hones t and h ard-working celebrities for our generation t o a d m i re , b o t h a l i v e a n d deceased. Take the late ‘national treasure’

Robin Williams, who alongside Whoopi Goldberg raised 80 million dollars for Feed the Homeless and th at’s just one exampl e. Williams became well-known for his charity work throughout his career. His humanitarianism was

reflected through the usage of his craft to entertain troops in war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq and his participation in the America: A Tribute to Heroes charity telethon for the victims of 9/11. He used his Attention Deficit Disorder characteristics to bring laughter to those who needed it most, saying, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Though he may be gone, he certainly will not be forgotten and will always remain an inspiration to us all. Another recentl y deceased cel ebrity who did her bit for charity was Peaches Geldof, and

Heroes & Zeros

By Matthew Clark f every young boy wants to become Idoes a super-hero when he grows up, why that change when we get older

and dream of being a footballer, or a sports personality? Personally, I think people in the armed forces and the emergency services for example are the real super heroes, because they risk their lives everyday for others. Footballers however, are essentiall y ‘running around after a ball’ getting paid thousands of pounds per week. Although people may think that these athletes are training every day and spending almost all their time away from home showing a lot of dedication, they get a lot of time off when they’re not playing and when the season is over. This is a stark contrast, to the lives of soldiers in the armed forces who work extensively to become the best they can be. This involves being away from their families for 32 weeks of training; regularly working on an inadequate amount of sleep even when they’re not deployed on operations overseas. When the time comes for these soldiers to be deployed, they live in constant danger of losing their own lives, and work tirelessly to ensure that they protect civilians and their comrades, with rarely a thought for their own safety. Footballers, however, regularly overreact on the pitch; rolling around on the floor when someone barely touched them, complaining of a phantom injury etc.. Conversely, medical professionals have a much harder job emotionally. For example, they are the ones who have to tell people that their loved one is on the verge of death (or already dead) and, whilst certain people in the medical profession (such as doctors) do get paid quite well, they save peoples’ lives and help patients on a daily basis so I believe they deserve this wage. Footballers may provide us with entertainment, but I feel that they don’t deserve as uch recognition, and money, as they get.

whilst her lifestyle choices may h ave been questionabl e, her morals were in the right place; “I think that philanthropy in any way is a good idea. Any charity that raises awareness for people who are impoverished is a good thing.” She was a well-known face at many charity events, and created an eco bag and a beach hut to benefit the Sea Turtle Trust. And of course, there are those celebrities still alive today to admire, such as Sir Ian McKellen. Not only can he be admired for his excellent acting (he is the recipient of six Lawrence Olivier awards, a Golden Globe award

and several others), but he is also commendable for his LGBT rights campaigning and since ‘coming out’ in the 1980’s he has thrown himself into the political side of gay rights. Celebrities such as Ian McKellen are particularl y admirable as they serve as a role model to teenagers struggling with their own sexuality and help them believe that they are not alone and have people to look up to. So overall, if you feel as though there are no role models left in the world, just remember that there are plenty out there if you know where to look.


Voice of the Community

Redcar High Street

The blind vote A teenager’s perspective on Teesside politics

By George Miller s an o pe n m i nde d and A a l er t te e n a g er, I h ave always been aware of national

politics and the basic political landscape of our area. There is evidence to say that as a traditional working class area the ma jority of Cleveland naturally leans towards the left of the political spectrum and hence the Labour Party over the Conservatives. This should surel y be dependent on the policies of the Labour Party compared to the other main political groups, after all, the party we vote for will be the party which will do the best for us, right? Well, I am not so sure that this always applies... Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to attend a wider family reunion, at which I met several extended famil y members. At the time I had an extreme politica l interes t and was developing my understanding of politics. Naturally, I dropped i n a q u e s t i o n a b ou t th e i r political views. Usually, I was able to find out why people support a specific party and what their political ideology is. However, the only response that I received here was something on the lines of: “I vote Labour and I always have done”. Yes, well why do you vote Labour? W h a t d o L a b o u r h a ve t o offer for you? - I thought to myself. I did not get a proper

What is music? By Georgia Nelson & Michael Watson he definition of music is T ‘vocal or instrumental sounds combined in such a wa y to

produce beauty of form harmony or expressions of emotion’. However, this does not tell you about its benefits and effects on individuals and masses. Music can affect society in more wa ys th an you can ima gine. Most people associate teenagers and music as anti-social but for

a n s wer f ro m m o s t of th e people I asked. Fair enough, the Conservatives might be compl etel y undesirabl e to them, leaving Labour as the obvious alternative, but it can surely not be justified that we have this blind Labour vote. It is quite surprising that so many people actually do blindly vote Labour, in fact most of the people that I have asked about their political views in Teesside who have responded Labour have not given any justification beyond identifying themselves as working class. Whether at a social club, a care home or a famil y reunion there have been a high proportion of blind Labour voters. Logically, you would expect that people would value their chance to vote and take the effort to make an informed decision. This is however not the case, at l eas t in part. In thousands of households around Teesside, voting day is a day of careless tradition, a silent assertion of the feeling that: “I’m working class and I’m voting Labour”. The Labour Party consider four of the six Teesside constituencies as ‘safe seats’ and claimed victory in all six seats in the 2005 General Election. This ‘blind Labour vote’ cannot be excused because of the traditional working class background of the area, and this is a problem in our area that I believe needs resolving. most, it’s more like an escape or a medicine of sorts. For example, it can be helpful for people who suffer from illnesses. Music can also be used to give people a sense of identity, but this can sometimes be negative (think of punk rock or heavy metal). Music s timulates the mind and has the ability to brighten people’s days and improve their moods. It can be used just to prevent boredom for most, but it can also be an escape. This escape can help people as we can sometimes identify with artists when they write about their own feelings and experiences. Not only can it be effective for people suffering from negative emotions, it can have a unifying effect on the masses of social gatherings;

By Anna McGairy harity shops, virtual shops, C closing shops; This is fast becoming a cyclical pattern

along Redcar High Street, and despite the improvements the council is attempting to make, s a d l y b oth th e n u m b er of visitors and the flow of income for the wider community is drying out. So, as the inquisitive NCS participants we are, we decided to take matters into our own h a nd s a nd d i s c over w h a t the people who frequent (or infrequent) the town centre really feel about the situation. After politely interviewing a variety of visitors along the marketplace, we reached the conclusion that many believe th at not enough h as been done to rescue the drooping businesses, and that the money coul d p o s s i b l y h ave b e e n a llocated better and more evenly around the area (not just on the seafront). Many also feel that the market is a sturdy magnet to bring people nearer to the retailers; however Kevin, a worker on a stall, believes that there needs to be a more regular weekend market, as opposed to the current system being on the first Saturday every month. The expansion of the emporium does appear to have helped slightly,

though there does still appear to be a fair amount of space left for a few more booths. In regards to the money the council has dedicated to this town, the ma jority of locals we spoke to believed it would have been better spent on upgrading the high street as opposed to the vertical pier, in the words of Diane: “Once you’ve been, th at’s it; there needs to be more shops stocking childrens’ clothing ins tead.” Another response from the vibrant Will was: “There should have been more programmess for children where they could physicall y

take part in activities and learn, instead of providing an eyesore on the seafront.” A contradictory response from the warden Linda, who felt strongl y passionate about the pier, saying: “Anything put in place to improve the community was for the better and people are drawn to Redcar to see the pier, which in turns brings people onto the high street, and into the businesses.” These mixed views did not provide us with a definite answer for the opinions of people on the high street, but it was interesting to see how the people of Redcar really felt.

Attitude to religion in a community By Corey Broome & Chris Drumm Discrimination s ordinary people from a progressivel y shrinking group in society, we believe discrimination is a large problem in the modern day. As we were both brought up in a Catholic environment, discrimination has become very apparent to us as individuals. We have become victims of both verbal and physical abuse: being call ed names, having things thrown at us and other forms of abuse. This is all for h aving a certain belief not seen as the norm. Is it not in everyone’s rights to practice wh at the y believe without being slated? Even something


for exampl e, with regards to religion, where music is used for worship and strengthening faith. Sometimes, when sharing a similar taste in music, you can form friendships and other relationships. Discovering you have the same music taste as another can make you more confident in talking to them and can help you socialise, which is great for young people. We can explore what music means to different ages.To a new baby, a mother and father will sing or croon to settl e a child. As the infant grows, we use music to teach and amuse in order to kickstart the beginning of e d u c a t i o n . G rowi n g i n to adolescence, music becomes an important outlet. Teenagers often

as much as wearing a Catholic school uniform can be enough to be called names and laughed at. No one deserves that, and we firmly believe it should be eradicated from the world we live in. Traditional values av i n g a re l i g i o n c a n benefit a community as it provides people with certain o b j e c t i ve s a nd a i m s . O n e teaching of our religion which we th i n k ever yo n e s h oul d follow is stewardship, which is to preserve our surroundings for the future generations. This would be a great factor in improving the community as it would improve cohesion and co-operation would increase. Also the belief of forgiving those

who do you wrong applies to society very well; we cannot be a true full y functioning community - I believe - unless we can forgive people for the actions they have committed against you or the community itself. This applies specifically to teenagers; a lot of teenagers are given a bad name for the mistakes they make growing up but by punishing them and slating them we only risk the chance of them committing these bad actions again out of defiance. I believe we should take the moral high ground and help these offenders to grow as people and be more of a part of society which I believe will deter them from offending against that very community.

lose themselves in music and use it to comfort the angst that correlates with growing up; it has such a myriad of uses, such as entertainment, or an expression of who we feel we are. When developing further into adulthood, it could be felt that music hold less meaning than it did in your past. However music can still play a big part, as radios, CD players, and Ipods allow us to play music whenever we want. Films and TV shows have music in the background following the mood of the film or show, which can enhancing our understanding and emotional reception of the film or show. So, music can have a big impact on the media industry also. As a window to dreams and

aspiration the poetry in music can touch us all. As we grew older our tastes change but we will still remember the music from our past. Indeed, a song can evoke powerful feelings years later, as it can remind us of the events that have happened in our life, and how they have helped shape who we are now. Music can also make us dance -the most reserved person will get up gyrate in the most absurd way at a social gathering, smiling and laughing in a joyful release of restriction. It is part of our herita ge and our traditions. In short, music is a wonderful, magical being with more depth and beauty than you can imagine: but with the capability to be silly and nonsensical too.



Voice of the Community

BBC TV Studios Breakfast Show Visit By Sarah Stevens


or m e , th e h i g h l i g h t of my Imagine You Can NCS experience was by far the trip to Manchester’s famous BBC studios in Media City. Th e f i f te e n of u s a r r i ve d early and bleary eyed until the cobwebs were quickl y blown away by the colossal l etters proclaiming ‘Coronation Street’ from the adjacent ITV studios. A wave of excitement washed over us as we approached the glass fronted building and a frenzy nearly set in when we were given are official BBC visitor’s badges. We were then met in reception by the cool calm and collected Steph McGovern, award winning business presenter for BBC breakfast and all round lovel y person. She led us all in wonderment through the building to the third floor viewing gallery before casually informing us: “I’m on live in 30 seconds so I’ll be right back,” and strolling away. I was awe struck. After her performance Steph took us to

the set and like mice we crept in while BBC Breakfast was being recorded live! During a break we were introduced to presenters

Bill Turnbull and Louise Minchin and posed for photos on the breakfast sofa, it was surreal. Steph told us (as we made

ourselves at home on the set) of the challenges she faced on her way to becoming a member of the BBC Breakfast team, a job she


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

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has had for the past two years. She spoke of her determination to become part of the company: “I think I almost stalked the BBC all through my university years,” it paid off as she was given a production job not long after. Steph was given a chance in front of the camera when the head presenter was ill and it was obvious she shone. In the face of criticism to her distinctly Middlesbrough accent Steph obtains a carefree attitude: ‘Some people actually like it, it shows diversity. I’m not about to change,” she told us. We had just enough time to have a good nose around the BBC sports studio that broadcasts all sport on the BBC and make Stephanie thoroughly late for a meeting before we left. Walking back to our bus my head was reeling, I felt as if I’d just awoken from a bizarre dream, sitting next to and receiving pep talks from the same presenters I saw on TV every morning. It was a trul y amazing and unique experience.

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IYC NCS Times Issue 3  

IYC NCS Times Issue 3