The National Citizen Service (NCS) gives 16-17 year olds the opportunity to find out who they are and what they can achieve. It aims to help build valuable skills for work and life, whilst encouraging participants to take on new challenges and meet new friends.
One key part of the programme asks the participants to develop a social action project to deal with a local issue they’re passionate about and then spend 30 hours putting the project into action in their community.
In August 2019 Councillor Moore (Cabinet Member for Greener and Safer Chelmsford) as well as Councillor Bracken, Frascona and Clark were invited to meet a group of Chelmsford NCS graduates (group name 4F) who had dedicated their social action project to combating plastic pollution and littering.
This took the form of a petition to the City Council signed by NCS participants and local residents in support of more environmental initiatives and campaigns to reduce litter locally as well as the fantastic artwork and poem (shown below), which was very kindly given to the councillors during their visit. Councillor Moore had this to say:
“It was a pleasure to meet the group and hear their story, and we were honoured to receive an original artwork. This multi-media artwork includes litter collected from Meadgate Park in one group litter-pick and was accompanied by a petition to the City Council signed by NCS participants and local residents in support of more environmental initiatives and campaigns to reduce litter locally. This project was the students’ contribution to the Social Action component of their 4-week NCS course; the subject was their choice and it was a powerful reminder that plastic pollution and littering is very much in the minds of young people.”
OUR WASTE (poem)
Our artwork is to show how Humanity causes the pollution around us. We portrayed Humanity as a rough, sorrowful character; unwilling to change its habits, but that still cries over the problems it caused. The sharp tears running into the sea of litter represent how much pain we put ourselves through when dealing with the problem at hand, and the river represents the litter we throw on the floor, and in our waters.
Rachel Swann, 4F, NCS, August 2019