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Voice of the Community


How NCS has changed me so far By Jamie Fletcher


hen I realised that the time was approaching to start my time on the NCS project, I was both excited for it and slightly worried at the same time. Some of the things I was exc i te d a b ou t i n c l u de d spending some time away from home in an exciting social setting, where I would b e a b l e to s pe nd s o m e quality time with peopl e who were old friends, whilst also making new ones. A thing that I was definitel y wor r i e d a b o u t wa s th e fact that at times I can be quite socially awkward and I thought th at this might hinder me when taking part in social activities during free time periods. However,

NCS so far has helped me to change and develop as a person, and has allowed me to discover new things about myself. My time at Peat Rigg was interesting and fun to say the least. While I was there I took part in a variety of physica l activities such a s r i d i n g o n z i p wi re s , canoeing, climbing up the Jacobs’s ladder and bush craft and abseiling. Whilst doing the abseiling and Jacob’s ladder, I discovered I was not comfortable around big heights and I began to feel anxious during the abseiling. I particularl y experienced this when I travelled to the top of the bridge, as once I got to the top I became incredibl y frightened to the point that

the instructor had to calm me down. I was offered the chance to be taken down back to the ground again but I entered my ‘stretch zone’, and instead of giving up, I offered to help with the safety ropes so that other people could safely abseil down. I am extremely proud of myself for doing this. I would also say that my social skills were improved

significantl y as a result of h an g i n g ou t wi th m any others in the pool room during free time. I can safely say that the absence of any form of internet access at that place has also reall y helped me become l ess dependent on technology. I have also greatly enjoyed the media activities th at I h ave ta ke n p a r t i n a t M a c m i l l a n A c a d e m y,

i n c l u d i n g p h ot o g ra p h y skills and developing job and interview skills. This is important for me as I intend to pursue a potential career in the media in the future. I hope you take my advice to grab the opportunity to take part in this programme whenever it is offered to you in the future, as trust me when I say that it will change your life.

Adapting to life at Peat Rigg By Tabitha Frankland


Abseiling By Eleanor


n the last full day at Peat Rigg, I and my team experienced the feeling of abseiling off a 76ft viaduct. For somebody who doesn’t like heights, it took a lot of courage to even look over the edge, let alone dangle from it. After watching the first three people drop, my nerves got even worse as I was reluctantly dragged over and clipped onto my rope. As I looked down at my teammates waiting patiently below, I knew I had to conquer the abseil or I would always regret it, so I slowly swung one leg over the wall and sat whilst I waited for my next instruction. Much to my embarrassment, whilst sat on that wall

I started to not only cry, but also laugh hysterically. My emotions were all over the place and I couldn’t get them under control, so between laughing, crying and apologising a lot for my weird behaviour, I was coaxed into kneeling onto a ledge on the side of the viaduct. My hands froze on the wall and I refused to let go, so our team leader managed to lower me down as far as I could go whilst still holding on for dear life, then I closed my eyes, screamed very loudly and let go. Once I was abseiling, I felt much more comfortable. All in all, despite the tears, I enjoyed the experience and am glad that I completed the abseil, as I feel I was able to conquer my fear.

y fifty fellow NCS students and I experienced a somewhat culture shock when we packed ourselves off to Peat Rigg. We didn’t realise that when we left home for the week, we were also leaving our phone signal and Wi-Fi connection too. Signal wasn’t available at any corner of the centre (and believe me I searched every nook and cranny) and at first it was hard. I hated the fact that I couldn’t check my Instagram or Twitter, never mind text my friends or family. I felt isolated and realised just how much I relied on my mobil e, keeping it with me despite knowing there was no chance of 3G. It took me just an hour to settle in and by the time I had spoken to my new friends I had forgotten that I even had my phone with me. By the second day we were so busy canoeing that when we travelled offsite to the lake, the sudden signal we had was a bit of an anti-climax. We realised that we hadn’t missed much at home but a few selfies on Instagram; still, we took advantage of that 10 minute 3G treat and prepared to go back to the wilderness. We then carried on our activities and I learned how to shoot an arrow which I would never have had the opportunity to do if I hadn’t chosen to enrol on NCS. After I arrived home, my mum even noticed how detached I was from my phone, which was usually glued to my hand. My whole week was full of once-in-a-lifetime experiences and I’m so grateful for the programme for teaching me the skills I need for employment and future job roles.

Voice of the Community


Roseberry Community Consortium

Feminism for young people

An over-grown, under loved allotment by Sophie Trotter


s part of our Imagine You Can National Citizen Service (NCS) programme we had to take part in three weeks of different activities. Week one was spent at an outdoor residential called Peat Rigg. This was a great opportunity to gain social and communication skills and gave us a great chance too ‘break our comfort zone,’ doing activities that varied from puzzle solving to abseiling off a 76 foot viaduct, which was a very big fear of mine, but with the help of NCS I managed to over come it. We e k 2 wa s s pe n t a t M a c m il l an Academy, which focused much more on media, teamwork and basic life and job skills along with developing our CV’s . We also planned our Social Action project for week 3 after contacting Roseberry Community Consortium to ask if they needed any help. They said they had a piece of land given to them by Scott Brothers on their landfill site near Newport bridge that was in need of some love. We went to see the site and it was not like anything I’d ever seen, how could such a good charity action plan turn into such a neglected piece of land? After funding had been cut unexpectedly the allotment site was left very overgrown with weeds growing instead of vegetables and flowers. Everywhere you looked, there was an unfinished ‘Poly Tunnel,’ poor brick laying as an attempt at making a path and a portacabin that has been deemed too unsafe to use, this was only a few of the ways Roseberry Consortium has been affected by the unexpected funding cuts. It had been intended to be used as a patch to grow vegetables to be donated to soup kitchens tofeed the homeless, but also created a fantastic opportunity for young people to come to the allotment

The allotment before andAfter

and help maintain it. So, as our social action was a way to show our appreciation to the intentions of Roseberry Consortium we decided to help out. We then found our leader, Martin from M&M Cleveland Gardening based in Guisborough who was brilliant in the way he guided us through the project and we all knew if we worked as a team we could help bring this piece of land back to life. We planned what we where going to do during our week at Macmillan such as get rid of all the weeds, plant new flowers and vegetables, turn over the flower beds, lay new bricks as paths and create a much friendlier environment. We started out by pulling up every single weed, it was tiring but we where so inspired by the intentions we worked really hard. By day one all the weeds had been pulled up, the beds has been turned over and we started to build the path, it was looking better already! We decided it needed some colour, so we decided a trip to B&Q was needed to get flowers for the entrance, we found some old tyres which we painted in bright colours and filled them with soil and flowers. Next we decided to make benches out off the wood that wasn’t used in the allotment and this instantly created a better feel to the place and made us want to improve it even further. The next few days were spent making more paths so disabled people could access the growing areas and then a final clean up. By the end of the week we had finished, and the end result made us so proud to say we had been part of benefitting the lives of others. Now this run down piece of land had gone from an over-grown, under loved garden to a maintainable garden which will be used to feed the homeless and give more young people a chance to make a difference and continue to develop the land over the coming years.

By Molly, Emily and Henry


he definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” But what does it really mean to young people today? We asked some of our fellow NCS graduates, and this is the response that we got: Matty: “Stuck up girls.” Cerys: “Anyone that is intelligent is a feminist.” Ellie: “Equal respect, women rule the world.” J amesie: “Everyone should be treated equally.’’ Many adults think th at young people are disinterested in politics but we are here to demonstrate that teenagers and young adults are interested and enthused in what goes on in the world. At our a ge, we are looking for a rol e model and someone who can inspire us to greatness. Having figures th at young peopl e can look up to demonstrates to them that their opinions are valid and are listened to, rather than them simply being disregarded. Malala Yousafzai is one of these people. She was shot in the head fighting for the right for females to have an education after the

Taliban banned them from going. She was only 15. She has further gone on to win the Nobel peace prize, and write a book about her life experience. She is a perfect exampl e of a young, enga ged person who is standing up to adversity against women around the world; proving that not even a bullet can silence someone. Feminism isn’t just a cause that women stand up for; there are also men who advocate for the rights of women too. These men include Ryan Gosling, who has said that: “I’m attracted to films that have strong female characters because there are strong female characters in my life” and Sam Smith, who “surround(s) myself with strong women all the time”. Joss Whedon is also a strong supporter of feminism, and has said that “[My mother] really was an extraordinary, inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman. And th at’s the kind of woman I’ve always surrounded myself with, my friends and particularly my wife, who is not only smarter than and stronger than I am, but occasionally taller too.” Reall y this is what feminism is about: the joining of both sexes and seeing the best in one another.

Voice of the Community


The sixteen year old question

By Christine Candeland


fter a rather shocking and surprising election in May of this year and with the possibility of a referendum with the EU looming, we are

forced to question whether our late voting age is turning young people off from being interested in politics. O bv i o u s l y, th ere i s th e argument that many people

The cost of being a lady By Macey McGovern


o you ever consider the price of things every girls need in life? Do you feel strongl y about the expense of bras; £15 for a necessity is outrageous! Girls do not choose to h ave breasts and whilst there are several advantages to having them, there are also many disadvantages; the cost of protecting and supporting them being a pivotal one. Take Primark for example; they offer a lot of good quality underwear at an acceptable price. This is all good, right? Then you get older. As soon as you fully develop, life becomes unfortunate for you. You start having to pay £10-£15 just for a bra! That is your only option if you want to keep your breasts in control. Young women are being forced to pay a significant amount of money for something which they have no control over, and it is not acceptable. Do you agree that there should be a shop that caters for women in different shapes, styles and sizes, and all for a reasonable price? Because I know I certainly do! I feel highly passionate about this topic. Every woman should have the ability to look at themselves in their underwear and think: “Wow I look good.” With marketing these days, this is a struggle, as many young women can be left feeling down and distressed when the only underwear available is either unflattering or too expensive. Old, netted, granny bras? Not your th i n g h u h? L a ce d , f l owere d and diamonds? These are the bras that can make some women feel more confident about themselves. This problem occurs everywhere and needs to be highlighted.

under eighteen are too immature to vote and I would have to agree with th at in some cases: but couldn’t it be said that many people over the legal age are also quite immature? Yo u n g p e o p l e a g e d between 18 and 24 can be very disengaged with politics,, despite the fact that the issues being discussed by the government will most likely affect them and their generation the most. Some ma y believe th at this is because they spend more time watching television or playing computer games or getting into trouble – but these are false stereotypes. The truth is that by keeping the legal voting age higher than the age you need to be to get married, to drive or to join the army, we are implying

Transphobia By Louise & Courtney


ociety’s treatment of LGBTQ+ citizens has progressed greatly in recent years and every day more people are finding the courage to open up and be themselves. The recent legalisation of same-sex marriage across all of America is but one example of this progress; another being a similar result in Ireland achieved through a vote, making it even more impressive. We now live in a generation where so many aspects of people’s lives that may once have been seen as “abnormal” (same-sex couples, transgender etc.) are quickly becoming a normal part of life. It isn’t strange to see people opening up about themselves proudly on social media. Although being of any sexuality other th an heterosexual can still be widely looked down upon, even dangerous and in many areas, it is becoming accepted and normalised far more quickly than being transgender is. There are many places where in fact it is not illegal to kill a transgender person simply for being transgender and the excuse of having ‘panicked’ is enough for the murderer of a trans woman to go free. At least 80% of transgender students have reported feeling unsafe in school and one third of all transgender youths have attempted suicide. Sadly, there are still many who struggle to open up or accept that part of themselves however, either due to low self-esteem or the opinions of their peers. Transphobic attitudes most definitel y play a part in this. For reasons that we find simpl y obscene, certain individuals speak out against the Transgender community, assuming that they are ‘fake’, ‘mentally ill’, or that they are attention seeking and wanting to be controversial. If a person is deeply unhappy about the body that they were born into, who are we to judge and stop them from being who they want to be? It is completely ignorant and obscene for someone to act like they know better than the person themselves. This is beyond unacceptable and needs to be changed now. Transphobia is an issue that is not as often addressed as similar issues such as homophobia are and we need to start educating ourselves about understanding and tolerance before the problem continues to grow.

that young people’s views are not seen as important until they reach a certain age. How can we expect young people to be interested in politics if they don’t think their opinions will even be considered? The worry is that by lowering the legal voting age to 16, we open the doors to many people voting who don’t know what they want. But how can they know what they want when the y’ve never been given the opportunity to find out before? If they are told they can vote, sixteen year olds would most likely do the research needed to make an informed decision. This may lead people to wonder why they don’t do that research now but why would anyone s p e nd t i m e l o o k i n g i n to something th at they can’t join in with? Especially if they

feel their opinions don’t count because of it? There are many arguments for and against giving sixteen ye a r o l d s th e vote, f ro m m a t u r i t y to th e S cott i s h referendum. And of course, ever yo n e h a s t h e i r ow n opinion based on personal e x p e r i e n c e s . B u t n ow, a s m a s s i ve c h a n g e s a re happening in the country, we need to ask why our younger generation are growing up with this lack of interest and if it will affect the future. Who will be our politicians in a decade’s time if our generation is so disengaged with politics? Whether you agree that sixteen year olds should get the vote or not, ever yo n e m u s t s e e th a t something has to be done before we effectively lose a generation.

L.G.B.T. (it’s a way of life, not a sandwich) By Ewan Coates


n this modern da y of tolerance and acceptance it is hard to believe that people are still prosecuted for their sexual orientation. In fact, there are s till people who are unaware of what LGBT stands for. For those of you who don’t know, LGBT stands for; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender. Despite some claims that we live in a world free of discrimination due to sexual orientation, there are still children being rejected by their families worldwide. Here in the UK we are admittedl y better than some other countries for our tolerance of LGBT individuals, but there is still a problem with acceptance that some ignore: instead, we may like to believe that, as a country, we are the moral superiority. Despite the stereotypes for example, London - allegedly one of the most accepting and vibrant places in the whole of the UK - is the least likely place for a member of the LGBT community to be supported by their family with13% of people in London claim to not be supportive of the LGBT community, yet only 1% of people in the north of England claim to not be supportive and only 2% in Scotland; despite these areas being seen as among the most traditional and possibly intolerant in the country. The largest problem we face in today’s society regarding the LGBT community is our insistence that there is no longer a problem. Often young LGBT teenagers are pressured by their peers to come out without being ready to admit their sexuality even to themselves. The simple fact is tolerance has become an excuse for harassment. Any camp acting boy or potential member of the LGBT community is bombarded with attempts to “help them” out of the closet with the arrogant excuse of: “It’s the 21st century there’s nothing to worry about.” Throughout my research the one overwhelming fact I have found is that one of the worst things you can say to a potentially closeted homosexual or transgender individual is that there is nothing to worry about because of our modern society. The overall message of this article is that there is nothing you can do in the face of someone who you think is a member of the LGBT community, other than take a step back and let them be themselves.

Voice of the Community


ICS: A new adventure?

By Nathan


ave you ever wondered how it would feel to l eave home for nearly 12 weeks, to move to a strange land which you are unfamiliar with? Well I sure didn’t, until I heard of the International Citizen Service, or ICS. At first I thought the idea of staying away from home for a quarter of a year was not only impossible, but it was crazy. But then I heard what you do when you get to your destination and it suddenly evolved from a crazy thought to a great chance to change and develop as a person whilst doing some great work.

Our Social Action Project

My main attraction to the programme is the fact that I will be doing some honest work just for the fact that it will benefit others. I always liked the idea of making a big change for the benefit of others, but I thought that opportunity was onl y reserved for the peopl e who had been part of an organisation for years, or people with lots of money; turns out the average Joe like me can also make a difference. The application itself looks easy enough; I searched the website once I got home just to do some research on what the organisation is about and it made me even surer that this is something I want to be a part of. The website is really straight forward and is very easy to follow. I always saw myself as an adventurous person. I would enjoy discovering new places and exploring familiar lands and I think this organisation could be my ticket to a whole new adventure. I don’t mean to sound too corny or stupid, but it’s something I know I could get incredibly passionate about. I hope this article has had some positive impact on your possibl e choices for the future and that you may even consider taking part in the programme yourself!

By Alice Broadley & Alex Hatfield


hroughout our time at NCS, we worked towards a final social action project which would benefit the local community. To decide what project we would undertake, we discussed ways to raise money and whom to raise money for and we came to the conclusion that we could organise a family fun day to raise money for the Bedale Youth Venue. We h ad been based there for two weeks of the NCS programme and knew that our work would be greatly appreciated by the Bedale community and that we could get creative when organising the day. We soon decided to have a ‘good -vs -evil’ theme to attract the younger children and to get them to dress up to create an exciting and amusing atmosphere for fun day. We organised which stalls we would have on the day and started to build signs and make any props we would need. A small group

ventured into the community handing out posters and letters to create awareness of our planned event and collected prizes for our Tombola stall. Finally, we all made cakes and sweet treats which we could sell on the day to raise even more money, which went down a treat with everyone involved! The day arrived, the sun was shining and the NCS staff were dressed up and ready in their costumes. The stalls were set, cakes were baked and the BBQ was in full flow. The car park was full and the children and their families were able to spend the afternoon having fun on the stalls whilst raising money for a worthy cause. The bouncy castle and the nail art stall were some of the main attractions with youngsters wa lking round with perfectl y painted nails. Donations were being handed in all over the place and the day proved to be a huge success as all of our hard work planning the event paid off.

STAMP revisited

By Berenice


TAMP (South Tees Advocacy in Mental Health project) Revisited is a local charity which provides an

independent service run by local people to help people have a direct say on what issues affect them. STA MP rev i s i te d i s b a s e d a t Roseberry Park opposite James

Cook hospital. STAMP h as been a registered charity since 1995. From 1998 until 2011, my Grandpa was chairman of the charity, which does fantastic

work within the Middlesbrough and Redcar & Cleveland community. The charity works with people that suffer from a wide range of different mental health illnesses, including depression and schizophrenia. The charity itself helped my grandpa as he suffered from bi-polar, and many of the other people that work within the charity have also suffered with a mental health illness. Without this charity my grandpa may have not been able to control his life and wouldn’t have been the kind, caring, loving man he was. I would like to thank the charity for all that they have done and I hope it continues to get the funding and support it deserves as it helps people talk about their problems and deal with them.

Voice of the Community


Why travel? Why not

Visits by butterflies and dogs

By Becca Morrison


here’s NO Reason at all for young people to sit around throughout their education, without thinking about going travelling. When I say travel, I most definitely do not mean just spending a week or two getting drunk in Magaluf with your mates like some sort of spoof Inbetweeners Movie. Let’s say you travel to somewhere like Africa, India or Mexico; the third world. While there, you’ll be staying in a Youth Hostel or even with a native famil y there so you can really experience a new way of living. Your time there will be spent volunteering in places like schools, orphanages and villages that have are in desperate need of assistance and volunteers. Now instead of watching Children in Need every year, thinking you knew all about developing countries, you’ve actually experienced it for yourself. In my opinion, these charity shows aim to show the public that the ma jority of people in Africa and other disadvantaged countries are depressed and sick whilst trying to get money of you. This is not true in my experience. In October 2014 I travell ed to Lesotho in South Africa on a volunteer mission and it completely changed my opinion on what these people are like. The children are so happy and lovely and always polite. They do jobs around the house and work hard in school to get where they want to be because that’s what they have to do to survive. The Third World society is so grateful for what they have that it’s like they don’t even realise what they’re missing! Some places can be painfully depressing; the amount of ill people there is almost horrifying. Yet somehow you come to realise that maybe we could actually learn something from them. Be happy and thankful for the life we have and not for the material things.

By Issy Ineson & Jane O’Rourke


hilst we were on our second week of the North Yorkshire NCS project, we had two very inspiring visitors who spoke to us about several local charities. Firs tl y, Hannah Larkin of the ch arity ‘ButterflyGiving’ kindly came and delivered a presentation about her charity, which aims to offer support to teenagers who have cancer, and also to their families. They provide support both to those who are in hospital and those who are at home. Hannah spoke about how she set up the charity at the age of 15, and her reasons for doing so were enlightening and inspiring. Some people may believe cancer mainly affects older peopl e, but this is not the case: six young people are diagnosed with cancer every day. The charity works across the country by visiting patients in hospital and their families, and giving out goody hampers to lighten patients’ moods during what is for them a very stressful period. The hampers service also extends to younger siblings who are also deeply affected by their sibling’s illness, and whose lives are inevitably disrupted. Hannah also gave us lots of useful tips on how to fundraise and even offered to attend our Fundraising event, a Family Fun Day. She explained how she has organised fashion shows, 10k runs, a WW2 day and evening events in the theme of Bugsy Malone to raise funds and awareness for her charity. She wishes to inspire young people to get involved, and described the ‘butterfly effect’ it has on people: a butterfly is seen to fly by and people follow by example. This was definitely the case thanks to her talk, as we were all so impressed that the ma jority of the NCS students signed up to help her in the future - that is what we call a successful visit!

Guide Dogs for the Blind By Issy Ineson & Jane O’Rourke


e l pi n g th e l o c a l co m m un i t y and supporting charities was a big theme during our social action planning, and so the North Yorkshire project was visited by Heather Graham, a representative from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Heather arrived with two guide dogs – Barney, a blond Labrador-Retriever cross and Alec, a black Labrador – and spoke to us about the fantastic work the charity does to train guide dogs to support the blind. We were shown an interesting presentation all about

the organisation and how it works and it was amazing to see the amount of work and clever skills that goes into training a puppy. She also spoke about the incredible work of the volunteers who give up their time to raise and train the puppies until they are ready to start work as guide dogs. The dogs are then matched with a blind or disabled person so they can be rigidly assessed to make sure that they are up to the job required of them and then they are finall y sent to a specialist training school. Some dogs, despite extensive time

and effort being given, do not make it as a guide dog, and this is what happened to Barney. He was found to be too distracted by other people and his surroundings and so ended up be being offered back to Heather where they kept him as a pet. Of course Heather was very happy to offer him a home! The charity does a fantastic job of supporting those who need domestic help and it’s thanks to the work of selfless volunteers that the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity can carry on doing good.

Voice of the Community


Mental illness in today’s society

Mexico 2014 A


aybe I’m biased because I myself am a teena ger, but from my personal experience growing up in today’s society, what with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, iMessage, multiple dating apps, Tumblr, and many more, I’ve come to realise that we build up our lives and then tear them down again just so we can post it online and see how many likes our tragedy can get. I understand that we’re naturall y inclined to criticise and tear ourselves

apart from time to time, but one thing I’ve noticed (and had blindly become accustomed to) is that we are largely discriminated against by the older generation. We do not care. We do not try. We are completely self-obsessed. But why? There is no reason for us to be perceived as selfish or vain just because we enjoy a good selfie from time to time. Then it clicked; mental illness. Our generation is a great deal more open about our personal, emotional and mental problems than the generations before us. Some may see this as bad thing, but then again, maybe it isn’t. If people were free to talk about what makes their life just that little more unbearable today than it was yesterday, then perhaps suicide rates would stop increasing. Maybe, if people weren’t made to feel ridiculous for feeling the way that they feel, the amount of peopl e receiving therapy would increase and more people would get

Social awareness

By Nelly


eing socially aware has become an extremely crucial part of everyday life for our generation in the 21 st century.

An increasing problem in this day and age however, is the idea that some individuals and communities have becomes so preoccupied with themselves and their own problems that they have become oblivious to the goings on around them. This leaves only a minority who are actively fighting for change.

In recent years, it has become clear from the many uprisings and outcries - such as the Ferguson riots and the whole idea of racial discrimination and police shootings - that history is starting to repeat itself. Clearly by staying quiet about inequality and discrimination, we are not only refusing to learn from our mistakes but we are flat out ignoring the need to be socially aware. This does not necessarily mean that that we can’t change this. People are taking small steps everyday to heal the mistakes of the past and move forwards to a better, more socially aware future. Programmes like the National Citizen Service are helping our generation to move away from the temptation to disregard others problems and only focus on your own, and are making sure that the next generation will be actively engaged in their communities and happy to do good work for other people.

the professional help that they require. And having older, perhaps less sensitive people simply telling our generation to “cheer up”, is definitely not going to help the situation. Social media is used as an escape route to tell people how you feel without actually scaring people away. Are we stupid for sharing our problems with others? Or are we simply trying to break down the stone wall that has been built up by the people before us to keep us all miserable but quiet? There will always be a grey area when it comes to how we perceive people with mental illnesses, but they are still people and are just as entitled to freedom of speech as anyone else. Why should they be judged for something that is out of their control? Was I judged for getting a chest infection when I was seven or spraining my elbow when I was 10? No… So why are eating disorders and depression any different?

round Easter 2013, I put my name forward and was lucky enough to be chosen to be part of a oncein-a-lifetime project aiming to make a huge difference to a less fortunate family in Mexico. We started our journey to Mexico with fundraising, which we spent months working on. For the next six months, we hosted salsa nights, set up stalls at fundraisers, carried out sponsored haircuts, organised bag-packing at supermarkets and cake sales at local schools, held tombola events and coll ected donations. Altogether, we each had to raise £1300 to cover travel, accommodation, catering and building materials, which was a big challenge, but one which we were determined to meet. We first had to drive to London to stay there for a night before the flight. We then travelled to Los Angeles and then via bus we travelled down to San Diego. We stayed the night in San Diego and woke in the morning to breakfast before we began our journey to Tijuana, Mexico and set up our base camp. Over the next five days we laid the foundations of cement, then built the timber frames and wrapped them once assembled. We then created a mixture called stucco and stuck it to the chicken wire to create a solid shell of a home. The work was hard, and we had a lot to do in a short space of time, but we worked together and managed to complete the project. Once completed, we handed over the keys and saw how our work would allow the family to make our house their home.

Voice of the Community


Entertainment around the world By Kabita Nepali


y studying media at school, I have come to understand and enjo y l earning about entertainment and media, and exploring how it works. I learned that entertainment is different worldwide, from I n d i a t o K o re a a n d t h a t these countries h ave a big responsibility for providing entertainment both internationally and within their respective country. In this advanced age, we can access entertainment simply by going online. I always found it interesting that entertainment varies from country to country, but there are also some things which are universally enjoyed and

adapted across the world, such as game shows and talent shows. Entertainment is anything th at provides amusement and gives people happiness by co n s u m i n g i t a nd c a n be obtained from different platforms and various places. Entertainment can be found through TV, with movies or television programmes, but it can also be felt through music, and even from visiting places from all around the world. I think entertainment is one of the biggest influences in people’s lives, because it drives peopl e towards new things and new ways of interpreting the world around them. Entertainment and media is therefore like NCS in many

wa ys – it can ch ange your outlook on certain aspects of life and allows you to see and try new things. The main reason entertainment universally is a good thing is because people can connect through it. For example, if two people have the same interests and hobbies, they can connect with each other and possibly learn more about them. It can also help people understand that there are different types of people in the world and that not everyone likes the same thing; it helps create individuality, simpl y because media is so diverse. I th i n k th i s i s th e m o s t i m p or ta n t re a s o n w h y e n te r ta i n m e n t m a tte r s ;

Safer social networking?

it helps enga ge peopl e from all sorts of different backgrounds, in a way that they wouldn’t if entertainment

wasn’t around. Connecting people is vital in this day in age and media is one of the best ways to do this.

Technology takeover!


By Shameer


ocial networking sites are fantastic for talking to people and interacting with others. However, there are a lot of dangers involved in social networking; do these outweigh the advantages? S o c i a l n et wor k i n g s i te s c an b e dangerous, as many schools and charities have stressed. An astonishing 25% of social networking accounts for example are fake, meaning we can never be sure exactly who we are talking to online. However, the ma jority of people’s accounts are real and they like talking to friends and famil y, so what harm can that do? Moreover, the ma jority of schools throughout Britain incorporate e-safety into their curriculum, so teenagers and even adults know not to add strangers. They get educated on privacy settings, dangers associated with social networking and how to spot fake accounts, so they are able to protect themselves. A phenomenal amount of people use social media, so if it was banned, a lot of people would be disappointed. Moreover, it is one of the most popular ways to communicate with each other. You can access social media from many different devices such as phones, consoles and desktops. Therefore, you can communicate globally, anytime and anyplace, for free, and it’s far quicker and more practical than sending letters. Social networking sites can be harmful and depressing because of cyber bullying, but online bullies are only a small minority of social media users. For the ma jority of people social networking

is a fun and carefree tool used to interact with other people. We face dangers every day but it doesn’t stop us getting on with our lives. More importantly, there are numerous ways to tackle bullying such as the report button, telling an adult or quite simply turning your computer off - just banning social media would be completely unnecessary. There are more Facebook users than the amount of cars in the world and so the vast ma jority of people are clearly using social media as it should be. Whilst there may be some who abuse it, most are simply wanting to stay in touch with their friends and connect with people all across the world. This means that not only is it good for engaging with things and people you do know, it can open your eyes to parts of the world you otherwise wouldn’t have come across. It is important to be wary of hackers, but conversely people should be smart enough to secure their accounts using things like anti-virus, McAfee and Norton. If people share information sensibly, no one can hack you and get your personal details. The best thing to do is not to add strangers who you suspect may have malicious intentions (intentions other than friendship) as they may want to gain some sort of benefit out of you, such as your personal details. O vera l l , I c o n c l u d e t h a t s o c i a l n e t w o r k i n g s i t e s a re g re a t f o r communicating and sharing photos. The ma jority of people are safe to share information and photos with, at no harm to yourself. Why should they be punished by banning social networking because of a few inconsiderate individuals?

ew technology is being created every day, hooking our generation with the latest developments in mobile phones, social media and much more. A lot has changed since the days before social networking, where socialising involved playing in the street or in the park and not checking your Facebook updates. Wh at’s happened to change things so much? It has been scientificall y proven th at technology is classed as an addiction. When you have to leave your technology alone for a while, many people have experienced the same withdrawal symptoms as when you have a drug addiction, or when you are quitting smoking. It has also been proven that the increase of social networking has increased the levels of depression, as it can mean that some people are staying inside all the time to socialise and not meeting people outside in the

fresh air. It can also cause us to isolate ourselves within the virtual world and cause us to develop low self esteem. I am not saying there are not any positives regarding this topic; social networking is a great way to stay in touch with old friends. However, the negatives need to be addressed right away to help societies mental and physical health, and to make parents aware of the dangers their children may be facing.

Influences of technology on youth of today By Charlie Wilson & Hannah Sherwood-Smith


echnology has a massive influence on today’s society, especially on today’s youth. With images and messages being shared with the click of a button, it has never been easier to contact others in positive and negative, ways. Many teenagers feel pressure from technology; whether it is about having the latest model of phone, or following the current trends on social media. This can have a negative effect on young people, as they feel more and more pressure from their peers on what they are and aren’t doing or following. There are also trends that affect today’s youth physically, like the ‘Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge’ which can cause scarring or permanent damage to the lips, yet is still done so that young people do not feel

excluded from social media. There are also trends that affect youths emotionall y like the ‘Don’t Judge Challenge’, which can lower selfesteem and cause individuals to think less of themselves. Despite the negatives, there are many positive things that have come out of today’s technology. Technology can bring people closer together and create bonds that can last forever; long gone are the days where staying in touch with old friends involved waiting for the post to arrive and buying a stamp. Teenagers can also express themselves in a way that people can see and appreciate and get their views across to others by simply posting a status update. Te c h n o l o g y c a n b e a v e r y positive thing, but we must be careful that it isn’t abused at the cost of young people’s self-esteem and personal development.

Voice of the Community


An interview and experience with Amanda Coulson By Chloe, Jamesie & Callum


n Monda y 27th Jul y 2015 Amanda Coulson, a professional female boxer from Hartlepool, came in and spoke to us about her life, overcoming adversity and her experience as a Great British amateur boxer. She began her ta lk by telling us how she first read about femal e boxing in a newspaper and spoke about the difficulties she faced when trying to get into the sport. Amanda had expected to phone up a club and start a s s o o n a s p o ss i b l e, b u t found that most of the clubs refused to let her join as they only allowed boys in, or they made up excuses for her not to join. Her final call was to ‘Hartl epool Bo ys Catholic

Boxing Club’ who, despite their name, were happy to let her train with them. Amanda spoke about how she quickl y learnt that she would be treated no different to the boys at the club; she was immediately told ‘just to warn you there won’t be any leniency just because you’re a girl, you’re still expected to train as hard as the boys’. The training was physically tough and, after her friends left the club soon after starting, she was the onl y female left in the club, which meant it was mentally challenging too. Her determination to succeed and dedication to the sport m e a n t th a t s h e b u il t u p her skills and confidence, and eventuall y her coach managed to get her a fight.

Amanda said she was terrified the first time she went into the ring, but she quickl y found herself in ‘the zone’, and beating her opponent in the first round. This gave her a huge boost of confidence as the local press got behind ‘the first girl to box in Hartlepool’, and she went on to win more matches. Throughout her career, she won silver medals in three European Championships, two golds in ma jor international tournaments and became the Great Britain Champion in 2011, in a live final shown on

the BBC; which she also sa ys is her proudest achievement. She retired from boxing in 2012, and has since gone on to coach the female boxing team and hopes to be sel ected for the coaching team for the Rio Olympics in 2016. Her talk was very inspirational, as she is a prime example of how it is possible to overcome any obstacle, if you have the determination and power to face adversity and opposition head on.

A day at PD Ports

We met Rishi Sunak

By Yasir Hussain



n th e s e c o nd we e k of the North Yorkshire NCS programme, we were visited by the MP for Richmond, Rishi Sunak, who came to speak about the current political situation, engaging young people in politics, and how we can improve both the area and the lives of his constituents. The visit was a good chance f or u s to p u t ou r v i ews across to our local MP and to debate the matters which are important to us. We all suggested th at lowering the voting age to 16 would benefit all of us as young people and so we followed it up with a debate on why the government hadn’t already done this. We then discussed h ow th e g over n m e n t ’s interests are more likely to lie in older people who are generally more inclined to vote for them and so giving

the vote to young peopl e is not in their interests as teenagers are less likely to support the Conservatives. Most young people don’t vote because they believe they don’t make a difference. However, if all young people voted then the situation for young people would be better; the government would better represent society and our interests. Rishi told us that when we get to the legal voting age we should all vote for this exact reason; so that the government can cater to our needs much better in the near future. Rishi also talked about the current position of UK education and how it is finally getting more funding to improve. He passionately believes in the education sector and wants to continue improving education not just for his constituency, but on a wider scale too.

s part of the second week of our NCS project, some of us were able to visit PD Ports, where we could learn about the work that they do and try one of the boats out for ourselves. I was excited to do a tour of the port and learn about how businesses work and what types of jobs are available for people. As we moved deeper into the port we saw people working collaboratively in all sorts of ways - be it teams unloading the shipments, or storing the containers into the warehouses. The port itself has two thousand square feet of warehousing available and so the site was a pretty impressive size. My expectations about the port were false. I thought there would just be large ships with containers exporting and importing goods and that it would be boring to watch. However, visiting the port changed my opinion as I met some of the workers who were very pleased to meet us and

liked working there. Also, a port does more than just facilitate ships coming in and out; for example, we saw how rivers were getting managed by the river managing teams and saw groups working to produce offshore energy to reduce greenhouse gasses. When our visit ended, it got me thinking about all the businesses in the area and how they are able to work together and assist each other so that the area and industry runs smoothly; teamwork is therefore key in all aspects of life.

Army reserves T

he army reserve provides people with high quality training and exciting opportunities. A person of any gender, race or sexuality - as long as they pass the requirements which include fitness, medical, age and intelligence tests - can join the Army Reserves. For example, you need to be between 18 and 50 and have no medical illnesses that affect your fitness ability e.g. at least four years clear of asthma. When you get into the army reserves, there is a lot of training and many opportunities that you can take. First, there is the initial training which is challenging and enjoyable, which teaches you the basics of becoming an effective soldier and how you will fulfil your role in the army reserves. After that is the alpha training, where recruits complete an initial course of four training weekends over an eight week period. Then there is bravo, where recruits are trained and mentored by an expert. As an army reserve, there are many opportunities and experiences available to you, including ski

trips in the Alps, or even skydiving in Spain or America. Another reason to join the Army reserves is that it can be helpful for future employment because soldiers are hardworking and have more experience than regular citizens, putting you one step ahead in the competitive world of work.. If you’re interested in joining the army reserves, search army jobs UK online.


Voice of the Community

Voice of the Community

Imagine You Can NCS tackle refurbishment of club house


HE Ima gine You Can National Citizen Service h ave helped Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council tackl e anti-socia l beh aviour by refurbishing Dormanstown Junior Football Club’s clubhouse. Spearheaded by Dormanstown Ward Councillors Billy Wells and Alec Brown, the NCS worked with 53 15-17-yearolds to compl etel y refurbish the clubhouse and turn it into a hub for the area’s young people. Featuring a brand new computer room, with five new computers a new projector and screen along with new furnishings donated by Imagine You Can especially for the refurbishment, it is hoped that the seven day-a-week opening – volunteers permitting – will reduce levels of anti-social behaviour in the local community. The refurbishment was celebrated

with a Famil y Fun Da y, with NCS students showing off their hard work to members of the community, while raising money for charity at the same time. Cllr Alec Brown said: “I am delighted that after a meeting with Dave King and the NCS students, they agreed the project straight away. The goal is to offer the clubhouse as a seven day amenity for young people of all ages. “The young peopl e from the NCS are a credit to the organisation. Dormanstown will benefit hugely from all their hard work” The NCS project saw the teenagers complete a number of activities with the aim of improving their CV and giving them valuable job skills for the future with visits to BBC TV Breakfast as guests of Steph McGovern, Capital

Radio where they interviewed Bodg, Matt and JoJo on the breakfast show and PD Ports courtes y of Lauren Bywater of the High Tide Foundation. They also interviewed MPs Anna Turley, Tom Blenkinsop and Andy McDonald who have been very supportive of the Imagine You Can NCS over the last 3 years along with Coastal View and More News. The students also write their own newspaper The NCS Times which will be out in the September issue of Coastal View More News. Refurbishing Dormanstown Junior Football Club’s clubhouse covered the ‘Social Action’ section of the course, with each person completing 30 hours of work to give the interior and the exterior a whole new look. Cllr Carl Quartermain, Cabinet Member for Jobs, Skills, and Leisure, said: “We are very th ankful th at

Dormanstown Junior Football Club could be the centre of activity for the NCS and help young people gain vital skills for the future. “The council is dedicated to giving young people the best possible career opportunities and development, and we are grateful that groups like the Imagine You Can NCS can play a ma jor role in this. “The NCS are carrying out some fantastic projects around the borough th a t e n g a g e s ou r te e n a g er s i n community projects which can make a real difference to the quality of life of our residents.” To find out more about the NCS in Teesside & North Yorkshire, go to: https://www.facebook.com/ ncsimagineyoucan and www.imagineyoucan.com


Voice of the Community


Duke of Edinburgh

99th Nijmegen Marches By Aiden Sims


h e I n ter n a t i o n a l Fou r Da y Marches Nijmegen (or Vierdaa gse), is the larges t marching event in the world. It is organised every year in Nijmegen, Netherlands, in mid-July as a means of promoting sport and exercise. Participants walk 30, 40 or 50 kilometres daily depending on their a ge and gender, and, on completion, receive a royally approved medal. The participants are mostl y civilians, but there are also a few thousand military participants. I myself completed the 100 mile (160km) military route, as I was part of the British Military Contingent, as a member of the Air Training Corps. As a cadet, nobody expects you to participate in something of this scale due to the level of physical strength required. However, doing it will open numerous opportunities in the British Military for me as it’s well respected by the military, as even

regulars struggle to complete it. Doing it at 16 therefore looks good on your CV when applying for the forces. Nevertheless, it wasn’t an easy job, as in Holland there is always a high humidity and high temperature throughout the day, and there are many dropouts. Furthermore, the four days are very long and tiring as you are up around 2-3am to be on the road for a minimum of 9 hours marching. On the final day I developed heat stroke, which made the last 15km a lot more difficult. Despite this, I managed to pull through and finish in the centre of Nijmegen where thousands of people had gathered to watch over 40,000 marchers finish. Th e N i j m e g e n M a rc h e s i s a national holiday in Holland which is why so many people come and watch. This year, it’s estimated that over one million people came from all over Holland to watch, as well as numerous spectators from other countries. Furthermore, as the local Dutch people see the marches as a celebration, all the towns near Nijmegen have a continuous party around you as you march which makes it a lot more fun and takes your mind away from the pain. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience there, getting to meet different people from all over the world and living on a base with over twenty different national militaries. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a challenge, as it truly is a great experience.

by Issy Ineson


ast year, I took part in the bronze Duke of Edinburgh award at my local secondary school. Although the award was challenging at times, I have some great memories thanks to the experience. The award is split up into three sections; skill, physical and volunteering. Each section has to be recorded online with pictures of the activity you chose for that section; two sections must be done for three months and one must be done for six months. For the physical activity, I decided to do dance, which required a lot of focus, and for the skills section I chose to work with textiles. The physical section helped everyone to feel fitter and healthier, while the skills section allowed you to learn new interests and perhaps even inspire us to take it up as a permanent hobby. As part of my volunteering, I took part in a

paired reading scheme which helped younger children who were struggling to read. Above all my friends and I found volunteering the most rewarding activity as you have the opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives and their communities. Finally, to complete the award, we had to carry out an expedition. This tested our teamwork and survival skills, as we had to camp out and make our own meals. Not everything was plain sailing however: some groups fell out when they got lost walking and our group had to escape from an angry cow! The Duke of Edinburgh experience was a lot of work, but I also got a lot out of the scheme. It’s something I can put on my CV and I hope to go on and do my silver award this year.


Army Cadets T

he army cadet force provides a fun and educational adventure for those who are willing to work as a team and learn new things. With over 41,000 cadets and over 9,100 adults, the army cadet force offers many opportunities, both nationally and internationally; from summer camps in England and Scotland and all the way to Germany. The force can be traced back as far as 1859. A r my c a det s i s o p e n to a ny young adults between the ages of 12 and 18, and you will get many opportunities to build skills which will be beneficial later on in your life. Throughout your time in cadets, you will gain a lot of confidence within yourself, whilst developing many more skills and principles such as teamwork, time management and first aid. You will also get the opportunity to complete your Duke of Edinburgh award at all three levels which you can carry on to later life, as it is a fantastic qualification to add to your CV which many employers will recognise. I personally have been a member of t h e a r m y c a d et f o r c e f o r t wo ye a r s n ow, a l th ou g h th i s doesn’t seem like a long time; I have enjoyed every minute of it.

By Julia Hopkins


Cadet’s has helped me make new friendships and has also given me lots of skills that I would not have if it wasn’t for the cadets, such as how to live and survive in the outdoors, The army cadets have also given me the first aid skills needed to save a life, meaning that I can be more efficient if an emergency does arise. I believe that everyone should learn these basic skills, and that, consequently, the cadet forces are an excellent way of developing not only your skills, but you as a person.

ne of the best experiences of my life h as been compl eting my bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards. I explored three areas - the North Yorkshire Moors, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District - with all kinds of weather. From glaring sunlight, to ankle deep snow; to being blown off a mountain, and being drenched with torrential rain, I have had the opportunity to develop many skills and explore some beautiful areas of countryside whilst compl eting my awards. We all gained huge amounts of independence and confidence throughout our time on the programme, and have learnt many new skills, such as navigation, camp craft, first aid and how to cook on a trangia. For my bronze award, the bes t moment was when we got through our practice and final expedition with no

navigational errors and no arguments, just beaming smiles. My silver trip continued in the Yorkshire Dales with our first attempts at wild camping, which was an awesome experience. It was a beautiful clear night, we cooked our favourite tea, and stared at the stars. The next morning however was bitterly cold, with one team member refusing to get out of the tent - so we simply took the tent down around her. My adventure continued for my final award, gold. In the Lake District we conquered h a ystacks, mountains, and had to contend with some of the most erratic weather that any of us had ever seen, with beautiful sunshine on Grisedale tarn, and horrendous weather up on Sprinkling tarn. The expeditions were an amazing experience and something I would happily repeat again, and I’m glad that I had the opportunity to broaden my horizons and achieve something which was so challenging.

Voice of the Community

Modelling By Lily Grieves


odelling and fashion is always s o m et h i n g t h a t I ’ ve b e e n passionate about and so I knew that the Clothes Show Live would be a fantastic experience for me. For my birthday, I’d got tickets for the event in Birmingh am, where celebrities and industry names would be there to showcase their work or promote their stands. For example, on the day I went, Jess Wright and Mark Wright were there, as their family had

their own stand included in the show. It was only my mum and I going, and we stayed overnight in a hotel so we could be two of the first people to get in. I knew that there were going to be several big model agencies there, as my mum had told me before, and so I dressed my best and hoped that they would spot me. The stalls and shops were just amazing: clothes, make-up, bags and accessories filled the venue. Feeling as glamorous as ever, it felt like heaven! Walking around the show, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Later in the day, I was stopped by two people, and I saw that they had ‘Model Scout’

written on the back of their T-Shirts. They took me behind a white wall and I got a few Polaroid photos taken, as my mum filled out my details outside. A month or so later I still hadn’t heard anything, until one day they rang me and said ‘Will you come down to London for a photo-shoot please?’ And I obviously said yes! I was so ecstatic I danced around the house, speechless that I had been chosen out of 700 girls around my age. The day soon came to do the shoot and I had never been so scared before in my life. All my family came too, to support me, helping to calm my overwhelming nerves and generally helping me to stay as relaxed as possible. The day consisted of getting my h air and makeup done, plus wearing the quirkiest clothes for the photos. There were a few other girls there too and I realised this was a test to see who was best suited to having a modelling career. By the end of the day, they selected the people who they wanted to join their agency. I was the last to be told, and I got the amazing news that I was now a model for their agency in London. I was thrilled, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

James Cook work experience By Isobel McGarrell


ork experience is vital for most jobs now and so I was lucky enough to get some working as a Therapeutic Care Volunteer in James Cook hospital. I started this because I knew I wanted to go into the care industry and so I thought it would be a good way to see which specific career, or department, would suit me best. This career is perfect for me as I enjoy building up close bonds with people (both the staff and the patients) because I can provide relief for the patients to assure that they are being given the right amount of care, and having a close team of staff to

work with makes the job a lot more enjoyable. The main duties involve spending time with the patients to make them feel more relaxed during their stay, by doing things such as playing games with them to keep them occupied and comfortable. The part which I found the most enjo yabl e and interesting was spending time with a four month o l d b a by and wa tc h i n g h ow they applied a cast onto his leg. This was something I had never witnessed before, and so for me this was really something special. From my time spent as a volunteer and the experiences I h ave h ad, I feel much more

prepared for my future career and have changed as a person. I am able speak to people that I have never met before and I am more willing to put myself forward for any tasks that might need to be done. It also allowed me to get a feeling of what it is like around the wards as I am able to watch what the nurses are doing around me, giving me an indication as to what jobs they, and eventually I will have to do. I also get to see how much effort they are putting into their work and what their relationship is like with other members of staff, so that I have some helpful tips and advice for the future.

My vegan experience by Sarah Hartley & Hannah Cook


n February, I made a decision that would change my life for the next 40 days and 40 nights and decided to become a vegan for Lent. I knew that a month of no meat, no eggs and no milk was going to be a big challenge, but it would change my whole perspective on eating habits and be a massive shock to my system! Once or twice, (maybe three times) I ate things I shouldn’t have, as I was still adapting to this new, alien lifestyle, but they were only small slip ups: a packet of chicken noodles wasn’t going to ruin my challenge. Being vegan makes you much more aware of the ingredients in the food we enjoy, and it did surprise me jus t how reliant

we are on animal products. For example, I ate Quorn thinking that it would be fine because there’s no meat in it, but I discovered it had egg in it, so I realised I had to be a lot more careful about what I ate. Although I h ad to adapt my eating habits a lot and it was frustrating knowing that there were many foods I couldn’t have, there were some nice surprises and perks to my new diet. Firstly, I soon discovered that you could still eat Oreos and so regularly devoured a whole packet, which made my experience so much better! Secondly, it meant I had to play around with food to avoid animal products, and so it gave me a good excuse to improve my cooking skills. I therefore decided to host my own vegan dinner party with my friends, so I could show them that being a vegan

didn’t mean your pallet had to be bland, it just meant you had to make a few changes to your favourite meals. Fortunatel y, the night went perfectly. I decided to be fancy and prepared two starters, green juice and bruschetta and they all went down a treat. The main, vegan lasagne with tofu, proved to be a little bit tricky, but my friends and I were suitably impressed and will now eat tofu quite happil y. Finally it was time for dessert. I went all out, and made Oreo icecream and vegan brownies, which proved to be delicious. Being a vegan wasn’t easy, but it was a really good experience that got me thinking more about what I eat, how reliant I am on animal products and how with a little bit of effort and a few changes, I could still enjoy delicious food.


One day photography course

By Kirsty Hopkins ☺


took part in the one day photography course on Monday 20th July. We learnt how to use the cameras properly by using the camera automatic, manual settings and using different filters including monochrome. After that we walked around the Middlesbrough area and used the skills we had learnt from the morning sessions to get some impressive shots. This was my favourite photo that I took out of all of the shots because I think the one point perspective made it look very professional and engaging.

Creating confidence By Eve Al Masri

Six challenging sessions of confidence building; twelve teenagers overcoming their fears. This is what happened after Thirsk School set up a confidence building scheme, encouraging a group of 15 & 16 year old girls, including myself, to exceed their goals. Starting in November 2014 and continuing into January 2015, these twelve girls went to Carlton Lodge and did activities such as climbing high ropes and going on the zip-wire. We had to work in groups with people we weren’t very close to and it was therefore vital that we built a relationship with them quickly so we could work well in a team. This was due to the fact that we had to trust them with everything, including the harness’ we were using to climb the high ropes, when some of the girls in the group were afraid of heights. Our next few sessions took place in the local youth centre. The tasks that we carried out at the youth centre were designed to help us come up with ways that we could step out of our comfort zone and into our ‘danger zones’. We also had to draw a picture of ourselves and fill the paper with qualities that we believed we had and then explain them to the rest of the group. Furthermore, we planned out what sort of things we wanted to happen in our future and roughly what steps we’d need to take to get there. Everyone shared their ideas again and we had to talk about our fears as other people in the group would advise us on how to overcome them. To conclude the six sessions, the group of girls met up with a group of year 12 boys who were doing the same programme as we were. After a raft-building competition (that we won), we decided to jump into the lake several times and thought about how much we had developed and changed thanks to the scheme! It was such a great experience and a lot like what you do on the outdoor residential phase on NCS.

Voice of the Community


Average 11 year olds

Fitness By Ben Johnston


By Sophie Trotter


ormal people at the age of 11 are out playing, being cared for and just enjoying life; sound familiar? Not for me. For my whole life, my mum has had a disability called Multiple Sclerosis (also known as MS). This meant that I had to mature a lot faster when I was younger, as I found myself having to run around the house doing the chores that my mum was unable to do due to her muscle weakness. But how can I complain I thought? I wanted to show my appreciation for my mum, the woman who had given me life, but doing everything I needed to do was tough. Every day I had to wake myself up, help out with dishes and even clean the house. I had nowhere to turn, and the emotional strain was hard. I saw my mum at her best and that was a great relief, but I always knew deep down the pain and distress was never far away. I took every day as it came, never knowing what to expect the next day. I spent nights without sleep and days without rest and often I would stay off school to help out and it left me feeling really alone. One day I received a letter talking about this thing called ‘The Junction.’ I was very apprehensive at first, as I had never heard of it before, and so I didn’t know how to react when it was suggested to me. It was the first proper time that I had been labelled a ‘Young Carer’. Days passed and I had various visits from the Junction. I was often too scared to speak, through fear of my words being used against me; after all I couldn’t be without my mum and I was worried that they would take me away from her. It took a while for me to express my feelings and thoughts with the Junction and to actually open up and admit I needed help. I was 11 and a young carer, but eventually I did open up and trust them, and the Junction helped me so much. Both me and my mam got the help we needed and I’m so thankful to the Junction because I am now a much happier person. My mum is receiving excellent care now and I am able to still look after her, but take some time out for myself to enjoy being a teenager. If it wasn’t for this, I would never have been able to do NCS and all the fantastic opportunities that come with it.

t’s important to stay active and hea lthy at any a ge, but it is especially important in youth. Exercising and enjoying sports when you are younger leads to a higher interest in staying active when you are older. Whether it is football, tennis, swimming or weightlifting, any sport is healthy and beneficial. Socially, sports can be a great way to spend time with friends and meet new peopl e. Pool can be a good way to make friends in a faraway place as there always seems to be a table. Football is another great way to make friends. Me and my friends play five a side every Sunday and it’s a great way to stay in touch, especially now that we’ve left school, as otherwise we could go weeks without seeing each other.

A wide variety of interests can be catered to by fitness. Social enjoyment can be achieved by most sports like tennis or rugby as they require communication and also teamwork. If someone wants to get stronger they can lift weights to increase muscle mass, and if they want to lose weight then they can take part in activities like running. Sport and fitness trul y caters to many goals. Everyone always talks about the health effects of exercise, but they really are important. Exercise can cure depression and self-image issues through the production of endorphins when doing exercise. Running and the likes have also been shown to help the cardiovascular s ys tem and reduce ch ances of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure.

Whether your interests lie in selfimprovement, social activities or enjoyment, exercise will cater to all.

E-Sports vs Real Sports

By Adam Todd


or a long time, sports were considered to be very physical and very demanding lines of work, where you must always be in top physical form and have a good set of muscles for good measure. Then E-Sports came along, and effectively said: “No, sports aren’t

By Abbie Henry


ince the age of two, I have loved dancing. I lacked a lot of confidence as a child and my parents saw it would be a great wa y to improve my confidence and come out of my shell. I h ad a lot of support from my parents, who came to all of my shows and gave me as much support as they could. I quickly realised as I got older that dancing was a great way to make friends and I have met so many people from all across the UK thanks to a mutual love of dance. Dancing h as given me a lot of different opportunities which I otherwise wouldn’t have had too.

just about a bunch of overpaid men getting extremel y sweaty whilst kicking a ball around on a field or running around a track.” The concept of sport is evolving, and now e-sports, where physicality is irrelevant represent a completely different type of sport. Games like Lea gue of Legends and DOTA 2 stand at the forefront of the E-Sports

franchise, with huge tournaments and massive cash prizes. These are held every year in giant arenas, in a similar fashion to traditional sports tournaments, such as football and rugby hold their events. In 2014, ESPN partnered with DOTA as the platform to host its International Tournament. However, soon after the Internationals, ESPN President John Skipper declared that E-Sports are not actual sports and are effectively considered to be on the same sporting level as checkers or chess! It’s fine to have that opinion, but the channel it was hosted on is a channel dedicated to “sports”. I say “sports” because it also shows things like Bass Fishing and that is considered by ESPN to be a sport. If this is the case, then how is it that E-Sports are not? The world is changing and technology is advancing quickly, and so E-Sports represents a big part of the future of sport. It’s therefore important to understand that, as the world is changing, sport will inevitably change too.

Dance For example, I have danced in front of thousands of people at the Royal Albert Hall in London twice, which was an amazing experience - it boosted my confidence and gave me a real rush. I have also danced a t D i s n e yl and P a r i s t wi ce i n a competition involving dance schools from across the UK, which allows us to make new friends and get inspiration from other groups. Thanks to dance, I have gained a lot more confidence, strength, and friendships, and my teamwork skills h ave improved massivel y. Performing and dancing in front of people still makes me nervous, but I really enjoy it. If I hadn’t started dancing and carried it on throughout

my childhood, I wouldn’t be as confident as I am now and I wouldn’t h ave any of th e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and examinations that dance has provided me with. These h ave taken a lot of determination and commitment, which are skills I can take from my dancing career and use them in everyday life. Being committed to an activity is very time consuming and can be challenging, but it’s important to reach your full potential. You do sometimes have to make sacrifices as it takes a lot of effort and time to be a committed dancer - I dance four times a week and it does affect my social life - but it is absolutely worth it.

Voice of the Community


Modern music By Yasmin Corner & Chloe Busby


o we all have our favourite songs and our favourite genres of music; throughout all walks of life these musical choices differ massively. Some people like pop; that upbeat tempo that gets stuck in your head all day, driving you to the edge of insanity is some peopl es idea of heaven. Other people are more drawn towards rock music, with its harder line and more aggressive tone. As someone with a very eclectic taste in

music, who is generally tolerant of all forms of music, I can only name one type of music I cannot stand; new chart music. I understand that in the 21st century, pretty much everything has become more sexualised; music and fashion etc. This h as become especiall y prevalent in chart music, particularly in the past few years. While I do see how the singers and their version of the “good life” would be appealing to some people, what message is it

giving our youth? In the 80’s and 90’s it was a ll fair play because it was all about rebelling against the mainstream and embracing new technology, lifestyles and teenage culture. The difference between then and now is that rock in that age was about the rebellion, whereas now it’s seen as something that everyday people should be doing - if they’re not doing it, then they are led to feel isolated and abnormal. It’s important that people realise

th at the lifes tyl es portra yed in chart music are not always realistic expectations. People aren’t getting drunk in clubs and having sex every night, or living it up in Ibiza splashing the cash all the time. I’m not saying that all chart music is awful; I quite enjoy a bit of Ed Sheeran, and you can’t always generalise. I just find it hard to find enjoyment in music which makes the corruption of both adults and the youth alike sound acceptable.

A musical sportsman? By Anna Wilson


ince an early age, music has been a big part of my life. I s tarted attending a group ca ll ed ‘musical melodies’ at the age of three, then progressed onto piano lessons aged seven. It seemed quite natural to me and I soon began to work towards my grades (public exams). I still continue with lessons now, and having passed grades one to seven, I am now working towards grade eight. When aged ten, I was given the opportunity to learn the flute, and despite my initial reservations, I decided to give it a go. Again, I found that I really enjoyed it, and eventually managed to join in with our Church music group. I still have tuition

now, and have also passed grades one to seven on the flute. With music as my passion, I have never been into sport, and have always felt like the dunce of the PE class. Therefore, going to Peat Rigg with NCS was totally out of my comfort zone and I was worried how I would handle the physical outdoor activities. However, whilst I was there, I reall y surprised myself. With the help of the wonderful staff there, and my incredibly supportive group, I was able to conquer my fears, and join in with activities such as abseiling and canoeing. Although I’ll never be a sporty girl, I have learnt a valuable lesson; to make the most of all opportunities and to give everything a go.

How Nirvana created friendships By Jake Aitken Music is a great way of connecting with people and has helped me personally t o c re a te l ot s of n ew friendships. For me, the fact th at I reall y enjo y listening to Nirvana has helped me to develop many friendships with people from all kinds of d i f fere n t pl a ce s and backgrounds. The mos t recent example of this was during my NCS course: I re a l i s e d th a t m e a nd several of my teammates all liked the band and so we were able to bond over a mutual appreciation for their music. We were able to share our favourite songs, suggested new songs to each other and have long conversations between us simpl y because we both liked the same music. I a lso found out th at there were many peopl e who had similar hobbies to m e b e c a u s e of th i s ; many people also played the drums and guitar for example. I have also created

friendships with people from cadets thanks to music, as you would be surprised how much completely different people may actually have in common when you share music tastes with them . For anyone interested in listening to Nirvana, I would suggest listening to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, ‘In Bloom’, ‘Come As You Are’, ‘HeartShaped Box’ and ‘Lithium’. For albums, I would suggest listening to ‘Never Mind’, ‘ I n U tero ’ , ‘ B l e a c h ’ and ‘Unplugged in NY’. I n m y o pi n i o n , I th i n k that music is a great way o f a l l o wi n g p e o p l e t o understand what type of person you are and whether you are a potential friend. Music can a lso be used for improving teamwork skills if you are performing to g eth er, a nd i t a l l ows you to get closer. In some cultures music is even used for communication. Nirvana is the band that has done this the best for me, but friendships can be created through a shared like of any band or artist too.

Theatre By Joseph & Hannah


heatre is a big part of both of our lives and enjoy getting involved with performing arts. We are both involved in theatre groups, but both focus on different aspects of theatre; for example, Joseph’s Youth theatre groups, Crash Bang Wallop and Middlesbrough Youth Theatre, mainly produce musicals like Oliver, Miss Saigon and Les Miserable, whereas Hannah’s theatre, Billingham Ice Skating Club puts on pantomimes on ice, including Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland and Dick Whittington. Lo c a l th e a tre and per for m i n g a r t s groups are a great way of getting people involved and engaged with people in their community who share similar interests, and provide great experience for those who maybe want an acting career in the future.

Joseph started his theatre experience with Crash Bang Wallop in 2010 and has been involved with the theatre since the age of 11. His favourite role was playing Jean Valjean in Les Miserable at the start of this year and he wants to go onto be an actor and to carry on doing Musical Theatre. Amateur theatre is a great way of gaining experience, so you can hopefully get bigger roles in professional shows in the future. Hannah on the other hand has been with Billingham Ice Skating Club since the age of three and began doing shows a year later. Since the Forum re-opened, Hannah has played a main part in all three pantomimes, and her favourite role was playing Tweedle Dum in Alice in Wonderland. Hannah h as sadl y decided to stop doing the pantomimes and to move on. We would definitely recommend getting involved in your local theatre groups, as it is a great way to make friends and have fun with like minded people.

Voice of the Community


Getting a job By Katherine & Libby


veryone says teenagers these days should get a job and pay for the luxuries they want, such as makeup, shoes or video games. Many parents expect their children to get a part time job after school and at weekends, but how many of those adults have tried to get a low paid part time job as a beginner with zero experience these days? Many employers want experienced workers, but how are the teenagers supposed to gain experience when no one is willing to hire them? When you are getting a job it all depends on what grades you get when you are in school, but if you got disappointing grades - sometimes through no fault of your own - then no one will be willing to hire you, even if you h ave more practical skills that cannot be highlighted by an academic test. Also, we are expected to decide what career we want to follow at 16 years old, but

how are you meant to know what job you want if you have never been employed and so have never had the experience of being in the world of work? There should be different ways for people to judge whether you are suitable for a job. Grades are obviously important, but they don’t always show your full potential. Getting a job can also be hard for a teenager because there are so few places willing to hire people below 18 with no formal qualifications. Being a teenager and expecting to get a job is incredibly difficult, and I think more companies and businesses should be willing to give us a chance, so we can become more independent and gain the skills and experience they want and need. to prove your cleverness is unrealistic. So would you really rather hire a teenager who has a piece of paper saying they can answer tests well or a teenager who has the skills to be possibly perfect for your job?

Peace or war? By Alex V

T You’re going to go one way or the other when it comes to this summer’s he time is now.

Sleep By Charlotte Walsh & Carly Ellerby


he thing we both enjoy doing the most out of anything anyone could possibly choose in the world is… sleeping. It’s not that we are reall y lazy but if you think about it, it is needed for the human body to function properl y. Without it we could potentially die. Teenagers especiall y need to sl eep for a significant amount of time, yet our generation are the ones who generally get the least amount of sleep out of everyone. The levels of young people suffering from insomnia are increasing, putting teenagers development at serious risk and affecting the mental health

of young people at an alarming rate. Every single person in the whole entire world needs it and we must sleep every single day, yet it is most definitely not a chore, right? For most people, this is the case, but for me, it really is. When you have to share a room with a rabbit, it gets very difficult to be able to sleep while she is scratching on her cage and running wild all night. Nightmare! Sl eep is vitall y important and more definitely needs to be done to make sure that young people are getting the right amount of it to be able to function properly. So, next time your teenager is tired and wants to lounge about in bed, don’t criticise them for it; let them sleep!

fiercest fashion trends, which looks set to spill into the autumn. Fashion is something I feel passionate about and the contrasts in this season’s trends have definitely given us something to think about. In the red corner, we have the 70’s hippie. You could find her in a field making daisy chains, bare faced with wispy sundried hair; she’ll either be dressed in a carefully laser cut Valentino number, or a piece from the spring summer 15 Dior Couture collection, intricately appliquéd with flowers and lace. Whatever she is wearing, it’s certain that it will flow softly down to the ankles - teamed with this season’s on trend gladiator sandals seen at Chloe (and between you and me, also at Topshop for a tenth of the price). In the blue corner, we have military chic spotted on the runways of Stella McCartney, Alexander Wang and Balmain. This utilitarian style blends feminine curves with strict lines and features stolen straight from the troops; double breasted jackets, khaki cottons and cold metal chains that dress up leather bags at Gucci. Fashion critics, journalists, lovers and haters alike are going crazy for these off-duty essentials which offer sporty, urban chic. I personally can’t imagine anything better than a dress with pockets, so I’ve been recruited to the Balmain army…but it’s up to you. Fashions is something that we can all get excited about, no matter what your personal style preferences are. It’s extra excit-

ing when there are cheap, high street alternatives just about everywhere; you don’t have to have a designer budget to look and feel good.

Voice of the Community


Top tips for exam stress

By Katie Ebison


ou’ve studied hard and done all you can to get here; and now you face the moment you have dreaded for the past few months- getting your results. Whether its GCSE or A-Level results you are about to receive, don’t be afraid, as students from all around the

country are feeling the same as you. The long wait from the end of exams until results day can be nerve wracking, bringing out a variety of emotions, with many students eventually realising they worried over nothing when they open their results. However, follow these 10 tips and your exam period will

be far less fearful. 10. Don’t leave everything until last minute - if you think you can fit all your revision into the last two weeks, you couldn’t be any more wrong. You’ll make more stress for yourself. 9. REVISE! - No matter how much you think you know something, there is always room for improvement, and ‘I’ll fluke it’ is never the answer. 8. Be organised - organise revision into a method that ensures you cover EVERYTHING. Make sure you have the correct equipment and know the exact time and location of your exam 7. Set targets - know what results you want to see on results day. Aim for these targets and believe you can achieve them. Don’t just aim for your target grade; have high aspirations and push yourself to do well. You’ll probably surprise yourself. 6. Manage your time - both in the run up to exams and during your exam, be aware of how much you have to do and how much time you have to do it in. 5. Read the questions properly - don’t rush reading the questions. Spend a few minutes at the beginning to

Space Travel: What lies ahead for the human race?

By Ben Gibbin


pace is fast becoming more accessibl e to the human race, as we become more curious, adventurous and technologically advanced. On average, 120 spacecraft are launched into space across the globe every year.

Moreover, there are also many new companies investing in spaceflight, including SpaceX, w h o a i m t o c re a te a commercial service that allows anyone (willing to pay a small fortune for a ticket) the chance to visit space itself. But w h a t h a p p e n s n ex t ? What do we expect to see

from the giants of space exploration in the next few decades? R e c e n t l y, t h e re h a s been a boom in space d i s cover i e s , wi th th e biggest being the first ever high quality shots of Pluto, which sits on the far edge of our solar system. The probe that captured these images was launched aboard NASA’s Atlas V rocket in 2006, and 1 year later, New Horizons passed Jupiter, at a speed of 4 km/s. The mission was a compl ete success. Not onl y did it capture the first detailed images of Pluto, it also furthered our knowledge on Jupiter’s atmosphere and moons. As a result of this mission, scientists may now be able to one day create a spacecraft suitable to visit these planets. H owever, m a ny discoveries are being made closer to home, and not just from afar. Th e c rew a b o a rd th e I n ter n a t i o n a l S p a ce Station are constantl y working on experiments to further our knowledge on a variety of different things, such as the effect space h as on th e b o d y over a l o n g period of time. Scientists are also testing other physical factors aboard

the s tation, including the effectiveness of 3D printing in zero gravity. So, what lies ahead for the human race in space? The biggest news of this century is the statement from NASA, which states that a manned mission to Mars may be as soon as the 2030’s, meaning NASA’s research on Mars is at an all-time high. The famous Curiosity rover has been on the surface of Mars for over 3 years, a nd i t i s d i s c over i n g n e w e v i d e n c e of t h e void planet’s past, even revealing th at there is frozen water below the North and South Poles. The future of space travel is still very mysterious to us. There is still plenty of work to be done in the orbit of Earth, let alone on distant planets, or in other solar systems. However, new information is coming up all of the time, with new discoveries being made almost on a daily basis: space has never been more accessibl e than now. Before we know it, anyone will be abl e to visit the emptiness of space for our joy or entertainment. Although we’re too early to explore the stars, we’ve arrived just in time to learn the e vo l v i n g m et h o d s of space travel.

read the front page instructions and read each question in the paper. Highlight keywords, be aware of how many marks it’s worth, and reread the questions. 4. Plan - spend some time planning answers for big mark questions to stop yourself repeating yourself, and to help the examiner understand what you were trying to say. 3. Don’t just sit there - if you’ve got time left at the end of your exam, don’t just sit there with your head on the desk: read through your answers, make sure you haven’t missed anything, and see if you could add anything else. This could be the difference between passing and failing. 2. Don’t forget your social life - during all this, you can’t forget that you have a social life too. You always need time to relax and take a break from it all. 1. DON’T PANIC - everything will be fine, you will realise that you worried over nothing. There is no need to get yourself stressed about how you did. A small amount of fear is good to motivate you but too much makes the exam period worse than it needs to be.

How graphic design took over my life By Elisia


efore I entered the word of art and design I saw the world completely differently to now. Having already completed my first year of Graphic Design at Cleveland Coll ege of Art and Design, I find terminology rolling off my tongue wi th e a s e and eve n f i nd mys e l f deconstructing the philosophy of logo design when I get distracted. I also find art galleries to be a comforting second home and become fascinated by the concepts behind the pieces! A key moment during my time on the course was when we were contacted by a mobile teeth whitening company. They gave us a live brief about a complete redesign of their logo and brand. They also gave an example of a logo they deemed “professional, sleek, simpl e…” and I reall y enjo yed the creative design process. It gave me a real-life insight into the graphic design industry, and required us to create work which was to a professionalindustry standard. Graphic design is fantastic for me because it’s such an easy process to adapt to and use. I’m planning to continue graphic design after college as I really enjoy the subject and how it impacts my surroundings and the media.

Voice of the Community


My role model - J K Rowling By Victoria Treiber


ro m th e f i r s t d a y that she got the idea for the wonderful Harry Potter series, a ll the way to the publication of her first adult novel ‘The Casual Vacancy’, J K Rowling h as h ad a ro l l erc o a s ter of a journey as an author. Since the publication of the first book in the H a r r y P o tte r s e r i e s , ‘Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone’, the seven book series has sold 450 million copies around the world and has been translated into 69 different languages, including Latin. Her first adult novel was also a big success. However, it is not this success which makes her my role model. It’s the way that even though her net worth is $1 billion, she hasn’t forgotten the turbulent times she went through as an unemployed single mum and she uses this to help others who are

in her previous position. She’s able to relate to those people personally and h a s eve n s et u p the non-governmental charity ‘Lumos’, which helps disadvanta ged c h il d re n a ro un d t h e world who live in so-

call ed orph ana ges because their families are so impoverished. As some people might have noticed, the Harry Potter series revolves a lot around love and death; something which make a constant

Top five things for your bucket list M

appearance throughout our lives. With her interlacing these ideas into the stories, the y teach us some, often harsh, life lessons which h ave helped me deal with my own emotional i ss u e s . For exa m pl e, in her books, the spell ‘expecto patronum’’ can onl y be successfull y done if the person lets a happy memory consume their minds, which repels dark forces. To me this represents the idea that one happy memory can repel depression and this consequently helped me deal with my own. She herself went through a period of depression and the fact th at she mana ged to make it through such a dark period has inspired me to keep on fighting. Her brilliant writing, her selfless nature and the way she has made it through the highs and lows of life to be where she is now are the main reasons why she’s my role model.

any peopl e h ave dreams and wishes about what they want to do during their life, but lots of people will never do anything about it. Here are some key things that you should add to your bucket list, to make sure you get the most out of life! 1. Travel – go on a road trip and/or visit all five continents 2. Live in another country – move abroad and experience a different culture and lifestyle 3. Conquer a fear - don’t spend your whole life letting fear hold you back! Try conquering some, or at least one, of your fears 4. Learn another language - learning a n o t h e r l a n g u a g e i s i n c re d i b l y rewarding, plus it gives you an excuse to travel! 5. Disconnect for a week - no phone. No internet. No TV. Nothing. Free yourself from the burden of modern technology. Sure, you may want to blow your brains out at first, but you’ll discover some amazing things you may not have otherwise. Plus, you’ll learn a lot more about yourself. If you think the temptation of screens will be too great, remove yourself from them. Spend the entire time camping or hiking.

The true cost of the Royal Family W hen people mention the Royal family, they usually think about how much, ‘us common folk’, have to pay to keep them supplied with tea. People constantl y complain about how much money we would keep if we did abolish the royal family. But in my opinion, they couldn’t be further from the truth! The average cost of the royal family is £40 million, but the revenue from the land owned by the crown is £20 million. This may seem expensive at face va lue, but this doesn’t take into consideration the money that the country gets through tourism. Every year, tourists put millions of pounds into the UK economy, by visiting royal

properties, buying merchandise, and staying in hotels and eating whilst the y are here. Peopl e ma y argue that we would still get tourism if the royal family wasn’t here as tourists still visit castl es in republics like France, but we get a lot of money from ro yal cel ebrations. Take the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Royal Weddings for example - this requires a functioning royal family, and brings in lots of tourists. In my opinion, the royal family are not there to simply look good and take our money - they do a lot of charity work, are ambassadors for the country and bring in a lot of money through their land and tourism.

I should bePUN-ished! By Luca Collantine & Matthew Bainbridge


wonder what you must be thinking as you’re looking through a newspaper - a place you go to find out about news and local events - and you stumble upon an article with a subject most unusual; puns! But trust me, you’ll have a whale of a time. You never hear a good ol’ fashioned pun these days. They seem so outdated. Why don’t we take it back to their roots? Puns have no strict origin; however, there are reports of them being included in ancient languages such as Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphs. Now there’s a

sumeri of their origin for you! Puns are often intended for a humorous or rhetorical effect. They’re also intended to provide amusement during those low points in life; and to raise a few unimpressed eyebrows. Puns can be used with basically anything; tractors, whales, bananas, clocks and even biometric physiological engineers. But that last one is just for nerds. An example of puns can be: “I know it’s cheesy, but I feel grate!” or a picture of a seagull saying “Hi, I’m Steven. Steven Seagull.” So we want you to remember that no matter what, you can always fit a pun into any situation.

Voice of the Community


Why Teesside is a good place to Live

Teesside industry at night courtesy of FreeFoto.com

By Thora McAnelly


ommon stereotypes of the northeast have led to many outside of the region believing the area is a desolate wasteland with very few opportunities. Increasingly negative headlines in the national press about places such as Redcar and Middlesbrough help

to fuel the damaging opinions many have of the area. Admittedly, some of these opinions do have a basis in fact; we have the highest level of unemployment in the country at 10%, and teenage pregnancy rates are also high. These statistics are shocking, but the image they create of the area is simply not accurate; in no national newspaper is there any mention of

our spectacular natural landscape and proud industrial history. Surrounding Teesside are expansive areas of natural beauty, whose breath-taking views continue to entrance locals and tourists alike. We are close to the more well-known North York Moors, which provide stunning scenery and views over the area, whilst the hills and woods within Teesside remain something of a hidden gem. Visitors who flock only to the picturesque villages of North Yorkshire would be missing out on Teesside’s vibrant landscape; conquering Roseberry Topping and Eston Nab are just as familiar to a Teessider as the Transporter Bridge or ICI. Te e s s i d e a l s o h a s s o m e o f the best organised sporting opportunities. Teesside, despite many preconceptions, is not a lazy and unhealthy place without any interest in sport. Across the region, there are a large number of community sports and clubs which anyone can become involved in, regardl ess of age or ability. In fact, Teessiders can expect at least 250 football games just from the 570 teams playing in the Teesside Junior Football Alliance (TJFA) over any given weekend, making it one of the biggest youth football leagues in

Do you like my outfit?

By Holly


osplay: you may have heard the word thrown about but, what exactly is it? The word itself originates from Japan and is a combination of the words “costume” and “play” which easily sums up what the hobby is about. Cosplay is all about portraying your favourite characters through the medium of costumes and acting. Costumes, depending on complexity, are often worked on for long hours and cost the makers large amounts money to make. The art-form originated in Japan, where people would often create costumes of their favourite characters from anime or manga. The hobby soon spread to the western world where people often also dress as characters from anime such as ‘Pokémon’, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ and ‘Attack on Titan’. Similarly, cosplay soon became a tradition in the world of Sci-fi, and it

is now common place for fans to cosplay and attend conventions wearing their creations. Cosplay, anime and sci-fi Conventions take place all over the country. The most famous and some of the largest of these, are ‘Comic-Cons’ that take place in cities such as Manchester and Edinburgh. Attendees to these conventions will cosplay from popular movies such as ‘Star Trek’ and ‘The Matrix’ but not all cosplayers focus their creations on anime and sci-fi. A large number of cosplayers also create costumes of video game and book characters. Nothing is off limits; if you can make it, it has probably been done. The world of cosplay also comes hand in hand with a strong community spirit, and stigma is often hard to find. Most cosplayers are supportive and open to accepting all walks of life, as it is hard to be judgemental in a world where the lines between fiction and reality are blurred. As a cosplayer myself, I know that when I attend conventions fans often approach you like you are a celebrity, as you are essentially the embodiment of their favourite character. Sometimes it’s even h ard to walk a few feet without getting asked for photographs. Cosplay gives people not onl y a sense of community, but their fifteen minutes of fame. Overall, cosplay is a great way not to only express your love for many forms of media but to also boost your creativity, skills and community spirit. Cosplay brings together friends and likeminded people from all over the country; some even come from all over the world, and it always brings interest to those who see it: even if there is a few questioning stares. It is a pleasure and a challenge that I know I, along with others, will always want to face head on.

Europe. For those over the age of 18, there are also opportunities within the Teesside Football League which boasts teams from Whinney Banks to Lingdale, providing valuable sporting opportunities for all ages. As well as being easily accessible, sport on Teesside is relatively cheap, at least to anyone struggling with London’s extortionate cost of living. Of course, we are used to fair prices and easily-affordable lives here. Tell anyone south of Manchester that they could buy a three-bedroomed family house near a well-rated primary school for under £200,000 and they’d probabl y struggle to believe you. House prices are soaring, especially in the capital, where peopl e pay the same price to live in closetsized homes. We may not do well in statistics usually, but in the house price stakes, Teesside is winning. Whether it is for money or a sense of community which is hard to come across in other areas, Teesside offers benefits to people from all walks of life. Because the people are friendly, our regional dish, the ‘parmo’ although unhealthy - is delicious and, most importantl y, it’s simpl y beautiful, Teesside is a fantastic place to live, which others may learn with a bit of positive press.

A day in the life of Stan the dog By Maddy Howe & Ellie Templeman


onda y… Colin the annoying coughing sheep woke me and my owner up extra early this morning (perks of living on a farm, I guess). I think it’s about time Ian gets him some soothers for that cough. I trot over to Georgie in the kitchen and see wh at’s on the breakfast menu, which is usually Pedigree Chum; however, sometimes if I’m lucky, I hit the jackpot and h ave the human’s l eftovers. Mmm, I love that beef stroganoff! T h e ‘ n e w b i e s ’ a re arriving yet again. This has become part of my weekly routine; greeting th e s hy n ew a r r i va l s and making them feel welcome in my home. But I keep my distance; I don’t want their grubby fingers on my freshl y combed fur. Sometimes they feed me their snacks from lunch if I sit near the benches and bark (that seems to do the trick). The beef hula hoops taste

vil e but I love a good cheesy quaver. It’s became a habit of mine to fetch the sticks the human’s throw for me. I find this rather enjo yabl e, as well as ch asing my tail. On the other h and, this is NOWHERE near as fun as racing the kids on that huge unsafe looking wire through the trees - they call it the ‘zip-line’. I win every time, of course. The children are ok but the sheep are unkind. They’re constantly running away from me every time I try and make conversation. M a y b e th e y s p e a k a different language? F r i d a y… i t ’s t i m e to s a y g o o d bye to th i s week’s humans. After the five days of strenuous activities, they are happy, but l eave looking like sleep-deprived zombies. I wag my tail and grin in farewell as they all trudge to the large box with moving wheels, knowing that their leftover pizza crusts will be my supper tonight. Oh I love living in Peat Rigg.

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

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IYC NCS Times Issue 6  

IYC NCS Times Issue 6