A local group of young teenagers led by BCHA (Bournemouth Churches Housing Association) recently raised funds to help a young dance crew from Bournemouth to enjoy a once in a lifetime experience at the European Street Dance Championships in Germany.
Dance group members, who train at the DFA Studios in Boscombe, were able to attend the international event for the first time this year after inspiring young people from the area to fundraise on their behalf; raising over £900 in total.
The young fundraisers were taking part in National Citizen Service (NCS), a youth empowerment programme open to all 15-17 year olds across England. They chose to support Dance For All during the third phase of the programme, where teens create a social action project around a local issue they are passionate about.
Bournemouth-based charity organisation BCHA, which helps homeless and vulnerable people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities, also delivers NCS in the area and in its last financial year saw graduates volunteer 3,330 hours and raise over £3,500 for charity.
‘Dance Four All’ were selected for the group’s social action project after young people were given a free taster session by DFA founder Stella Mavris. They were inspired by her drive and passion for young people and dance. As well as fundraising for the trip to Germany, the NCS team also redecorated and designed murals for the DFA studios by linking up with MBN Arts – a local street art project.
Amelia and Caitlin, 17, from Bournemouth and graduates from the NCS programme said, “We chose to support Dance Four All as we wanted to give back to other young people in our community and we felt that DFA would benefit the most from our help.
They continue, “Before taking part in NCS I didn’t know much about my local community and didn’t realise how much of a difference we could make. Creating our social action project, redecorating the studios and enabling the young dancers to achieve their dreams of attending the final was such a fulfilling and rewarding experience. It really helped us understand the positive impact of volunteering and helping others.”
NCS offers a unique opportunity for fun, adventure and discovery and runs across Bournemouth and the south west this summer. It is open to all 15-17 year olds for no more than £50.
Dom Weir, NCS team leader, from BCHA, commented, “It’s always amazing to see the passion and enthusiasm amongst young people grow as they go through the various stages of the programme – from outward-bound activities through to skills-based workshops right through to the social action project.
He continues, “This story is an example of the positive impact young people can have on their communities; we just need to give them the tools, support and opportunities to realise their potential, which is where programmes like NCS are so valuable. We’d encourage teens across the region to sign up this summer.”
This summer BCHA is still taking on sign ups for its summer courses and is also seeking more Social Action projects to support, so please get in touch on 01202 410550 or email NCS@bcha.org.uk
For more information or to sign up to the summer programme visit www.ncsyes.co.uk