Local Action Group Leaders: The People Who Made It Happen
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Our Local Action Groups have been running for a month now, and young people (like you!) all over the country are putting passion into action through social action projects - where you think of an issue that’s important to you or your community - like mental health, climate change or homelessness - and then take action to make positive change where you live. We caught up with NCS Grads Sofie and Lewis, who were both involved in creating our Local Action Groups, to have a chat about why they think they're so important to get involved with...
Hi guys! Tell us a little bit about yourselves first off. Who are you and what do you do?
Sofie: I’m Sofie, I’m 18, and I went on NCS in Summer 2018. It was the best experience! I’m now working in Finance and still volunteering with NCS and with some other organisations.
Lewis: I'm Lewis, I’m 18 from Telford in the West Midlands, and I'm currently studying Geography at the University of Birmingham.
What is a Local Action Group?
Lewis: A Local Action Group is a way for those who care about social action and their local area to get involved and do something good for their community with the help of NCS and other young people!
Sofie: You’ll also learn skills that you may not have had the opportunity to. It’s also a really amazing and easy way to meet new friends who have similar passions to you.
What’s your involvement been in planning Local Action Groups?
Sofie: I was involved in the early stages of Local Action Groups, working with the staff and some other grads. I worked on how they’d look, what they’d mean, and what we’d want young people to achieve from attending the group.
Lewis: I worked with some of the formal stuff that NCS does with projects, like giving feedback on their Data Protection Impact Assessment. And I also helped with more youth-focused work like changing the language used to communicate what LAGs are.
What have you enjoyed the most?
Lewis: I worked with a really lovely group of young people, who all care about the impact they have on their community, and I've loved getting to know them and their ideas better.
Sofie: I’ve really enjoyed that I have a voice and a say into how these look. NCS has had - and always will have - such a huge and meaningful impact in my life. Knowing that what I loved about my experience has been integrated into others is what I have enjoyed the most.
What are the benefits of joining a Local Action Groups?
Sofie: You get to meet some amazing other young people who also want to have a long term impact on their local community. And you get to find new passions that you may never have known you had. My social action project during NCS (2018) showed me my passion for eradicating Period Poverty and for the last two years I’ve been campaigning for and making people more aware of it!
Why should young people get involved?
Sofie: You get to see the long term impact in your community, learn new skills and do things that’ll make you stand out when you go for uni and job interviews.
Lewis: You'll get to meet like-minded young people in your area and make a difference to the place where you grew up. Why wouldn't you want to get involved!
What kind of social action can they do?
Sofie: Anything you want! Anything that makes you passionate and gives you a fire in your belly! Something that you can see makes an impact in your community, whether it’s cleaning up your local care home’s garden, or raising awareness for issues that matter to you. It’s all about you learning something new and passing on your new knowledge to someone else.
What’s something you’re looking forward to seeing in - and from - Local Action Groups being set up?
Lewis: I hope to see more social cohesion, and young people coming together and doing something good for the community. I'm also optimistic that it'll help get rid of some stereotypes that young people face, and prove that young people do care about and help their communities.
What’s your number one piece of advice for young people who get involved?
Sofie: Just go for it, never doubt yourself! You’re going to make a huge impact on this world, so start making a difference now and show the world that young people are the future!
Want to make a difference where you live? If you’re an NCS Grad (up to the age of 24), have completed volunteering through Keep Doing Good this summer, or taken part in NCS activities this autumn, find out more about joining a Local Action Group in your area!