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Young People of Different Faiths ‘Bridge the Division’ on JLGB’s NCS

An inspirational group of over 70 young people of all faiths have spent the summer devising, planning and delivering social action projects as part of JLGB’s National Citizen Service (NCS) Programme. It has never been more important for young people of different faiths to unite and work together to change society.

The three week programme unites young people of different faiths and backgrounds through adventure activities, social cohesion sessions, development of a chosen skill and visits to charities and businesses. These visits serve as inspiration for the young people to create their own social action projects to bring awareness to a variety of charities and causes that they are passionate about. Participants took their ideas to a tough panel of judges in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch, bidding for up to £1,000 to support their projects.

Having successfully secured funding, the teens' ideas came to life. Groups on NCS are split by their chosen skill to develop including photography, film, digital, catering and sport. Each group’s social action project used their skill as a medium to raise money or awareness for a cause that was important to them. JLGB are incredibly proud of all five groups for their phenomenal projects and to see young people of different faiths and backgrounds working so cohesively with people who just a few weeks prior were strangers, to drive change in their communities. It is this unique quality of NCS that makes it such a special programme and so highly regarded by universities and future employers.

Team FDLB used the digital skills they learned from their trip to Twitter to tackle gender stereotypes. They took social media by storm with their hashtags #imjustme and #smashingstereotypes while sharing insightful articles about gender stereotypes by experts and created a short film to challenge their perception of gender stereotypes. The Sport Group, All Stars, set out to prove to the public the enormous benefits exercise has on mental health. They achieved this by encouraging members of the public to power their smoothie bikes while visiting their stall in the busy metropolis of Brunswick Square while fundraising for mental health charity, Mind. The Wild Cats were the photography group and they got all dressed up in traditional dress from different faiths in a fashion show for their social action project called Bridging the Division. The aim of their multi-faith fashion show was to celebrate the diversity of their group and promote social cohesion and tolerance.

The catering group, The Lamb Sauce, got busy baking delicious brownies and packaging them with a comic strip whose central character has autism. Through their brownies and comic strip, the catering group aim to illustrate to members of the public what life is like through the eyes of a person with autism. They sold their brownies to raise funds for Mencap and The National Autism Society. It was all lights, camera and action for the film group, Team Something, who created a film to challenge the stigma associated with mental health in males. With support from charity, The Mix, Team Something hope their film will show men everywhere that having a mental health problem does not make them any less of a man. They've been publicising their film on social media using their hashtag #crylikeaman.

Their achievements will be recognised in November at a Graduation Ceremony. The participants will present their projects to their parents, charity representatives and community guests including JLGB president Lord Levy, and head teachers from faith schools. Each participant will then be awarded a certificate signed by Prime Minister Theresa May, in recognition of their fantastic contribution to society.

Razaq Bashorun, NCS powered by JLGB 2017 participant said:

“During my time at NCS I spent three amazing weeks with amazing people… one of the skills I developed was my presentation skills, being able to interact with a large number of people sharing and expressing my thoughts and ideas. I have also developed my listening skills, enabling me to focus more attentively on the ideas that others also have to share.”

Ricky Kaplan, JLGB’s Head of Youth Engagement said:

“It has been fantastic to watch this group of multi-faith young people go on a journey together, starting from a point of not knowing each other and ending by working as a group to deliver projects that positively impact the wider community, and have the potential to continue to do so for years to come.”

Watch the full video of the ‘Dragon’s Den’ HERE.

NCS will return this summer for anyone in school years 11-12 (aged 16-18). Register your interest at www.jlgb.org/ncs and be the first to receive updates on when applications open or for more information call 020 3857 5905.

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