Last week, 14 young people aged 16-18 years old from Stockton Wave 3 NCS – Flying Futures Project volunteered their time at South Thornaby Community Centre.

The three days of volunteering included the young people, improving the garden area at the community centre, volunteering on the breakfast club and presenting their efforts to staff and customers within the centre.

The young people approached Five Lamps to deliver the project as one of the young people at NCS; Poppy Wray also attends one of Five Lamps Youth clubs and was extremely keen to support Five Lamps and their work.

To help fund their project, two young men from Stockton Wave 3 NCS raised a fantastic amount of sponsorship as a consequence of one having their head shaved and another having his legs waxed. The money from the sponsorship was used to buy tools and equipment for the gardening project, presents for the young people who attend Five Lamps breakfast club and indoor plants to brighten up the community centre.

The garden area of the community centre was beginning to look a little overgrown and there was lots of unwanted shrubbery, which made the garden area look unappealing and it was also unsafe for the young people who attend breakfast club to play outside.

However, due to the hard work and determination of the NCS group, the garden area has been transformed into a safe, appealing area for people to enjoy. They also erected a hedgehog hotel and a bird feeder, to protect the wildlife in the community garden.

Amy Baker, Five Lamps Marketing and Campaigns Manager said,
“We are extremely grateful for the help and support of the young people from NCS. The hard work and dedication they have put into the project was really admirable. We have been working hard to bring the community centre back to life, by delivering free breakfast clubs in the school holidays and by reopening the café at South Thornaby Community Centre. The work delivered by the young people has helped support our vision and plans and has made the community centre garden more accessible and appealing.”

If you require any further information regarding Five Lamps, please visit

About NCS

NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four-week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.

To date:

  • Over 500,000 young people have taken part
  • Twelve and a half million hours of community action have been completed
  • For every £1 spent, NCS’ 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society

It costs participants just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.

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