Katie Blanchard is in her third year at University and wants to do accounting when she graduates.  Katie did an NCS program with 20Twenty and then became a volunteer before going to University, now she is back with us as a volunteer accounts officer.

What Katie has to say about 20Twenty:

“I took part in NCS over the summer 2013, with the March team based at the town hall. Over this intensive 4-week program, myself and my group were immersed in team building activities, community events and charity functions. We learnt how to work effectively as a team, often for the benefit of others. Reflecting on this unique experience, I know that as a young adult, NCS hugely shaped the path which I went on to take. As a result of NCS, I not only learnt a great deal about my surrounding community, and the facets of my community which are in need of help, but I also grew as an empathetic young adult who became far more willing to help out in any way that I could. 

Following NCS, I went on to become a volunteer for a local youth group ran by 20twenty Productions CIC which ran fortnightly, and provided a safe and welcoming environment for adults with various disabilities to take part in drama and theatre. I stayed here for over 18 months, before going to University, and I deeply value the impact of this experience on making me a more rounded and knowledgeable adult. 

From my experience with NCS, and with 20twenty Productions CIC I have grown tremendously, and I feel extremely fortunate to have been so prepared for the adult world of work, which can seem daunting for any young person leaving school.  While I have developed personally in many ways following these experiences, I have also been well prepared for ‘the real world’. From my own experience, NCS shaped me into a more successful and more compassionate young adult, and so I believe that various youth programs such as this are invaluable.”

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Katie on the right pictured with Christine Crawford who also stayed with us after NCS to volunteer.

Shannon Barrow did work experience with us in year 10, she then stayed with us as a volunteer until going to University of Greenwich to do a degree in Event Management, now in her third year Shannon is interning with us  – and thanks to Shannon we have a lovely newly designed web-site.

This is what Shannon has to say about 20Twenty:
“I first embarked on my journey with 20Twenty Productions back in 2011 when entering the Search for a Star as an aspiring singer. I then met Katherine who offered me to work at 20Twenty Productions for my year 10 work experience. Ultimately that two-week experience guided me to undertake research into events management degrees. I’d realised how rewarding and creative project management can be. From then on, I joined the 20Twenty family and now they can’t get rid of me! After my work experience I joined youth theatre which helped my confidence grow and gave me an escapism from the hectic exam life. I began volunteering for 20Twenty Productions around that time also, helping in the shows and some of the projects. Which is when the opportunity to join the NCS team came along. It was my first real time away from home and having the support of the staff was lovely, while also experiencing myself emerging into an adult. The exercises involved lots of team building practices, meeting new people, cooking as a team, setting goals and outdoor activities. My biggest takeaway from NCS was the project management during the second and third week. We managed some local charity events as a group of young people. Then, I was going into sixth form, preparing to get my grades to study BA Events Management at university. Managing these projects encouraged me to believe that I was heading in the right direction and paved my journey. 
A short while after NCS I began a part time job working at 20Twenty Productions which is when I started to work on the Big Music Project, Our Big Gig, The Creative People and Places project and many more. Each project was more exciting than the last although my favourite was the creative people and places project as I could manage lots of social interaction and research at events. I got real-life event experience and the opportunity to manage my own events on a few occasions. The lessons learned and the way Katherine and the team encourage thought provoking conclusions from these is something I’ve carried through to my university studies.
It’s been a good six years since I first met the 20Twenty team and at every turn they have offered me opportunities to grow as an individual and as an event manager. I’ve undertaken risk assessment training, safeguarding, self-assessments and hands-on event practice that has contributed to my journey to becoming an event manager. Also, largely contributed to my journey into adulthood and guiding me to understand myself, my goals, aspirations, my working habits and my limits.”

Shannon is always happy to go the extra mile, here she is dressed up as a mermaid at an audience engagement event:

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