The NCS FLT Huddersfield Graduation took place on the 22nd September 2014, with a guest list of 180 people! 98 young people who participated in the programme this summer attended, representatives from five local charities: Forget me Not Children’s Hospice – Jason Costello and Lucy Burnett, Laura Crane Trust – Helen Mervill, Leonard Cheshire – Gemma McCorkindale and Dawn Roadment, Mencap – Samantha Jones and Kirkwood Hospice – Gabby Butler. Mayor Ken Smith and Jason McCartney MP for Kirklees came to support the programme with speeches, handing out certificates and talking with young people. We were also joined by the Barclays Huddersfield Team, who also match funded our fundraisers up to £1000. Workshop directors, partners, staff. Parents and teachers also joined us for a fantastic evening.

From 7.00pm guest started arriving into the lovely Revel Ward Suit at the John Smiths stadium, it was very strange to see young people and even staff all dressed up as opposed to seeing them in muddy clothing from phase 2. It was lovely to see all the friendships blossoming that had been built during the programme and seeing all the teams together one last time. The food was soon out for everyone, which consisted of meat and potato pie, gnocci and chicken pasta. Everyone’s bellies were full for us to then go onto the speeches and the awards from both waves, Biggest Drama queen Toni Andrew managed to walk out to meet the Mayor and MP with no shoes on, other awards included, biggest transformation, most dedicated to fundraiser, fear factor, most NCS Spirit and many more.

The last part of the awards ceremony was seeing how much money each team raised, we started with;

  • Team Revive who raised £192.28 for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice by doing a 15 mile sponsored walk from Halifax to Huddersfield walking via Brighouse with a stop off at FMNCH Russell House as a mark of respect.
  • Team Elegance raised £268.60 for Kirkwood Hospice by doing a Bucket collection in Huddersfield town and a bake sale at Kirkwood Hospice.
  • The Hannahnators raised £362.80 for Mencap in Kirklees by running a charity band day where each team member brought something different to the day, like Henna tattoos, piano playing, singing and much more.
  • Team Alpha Pandas raised £391. 83 for Leonard Cheshire Care Home by doing a fancy dress bag pack in Sainsbury’s Huddersfield.
  • Dom’s Angels raised £443.54 for Laura Crane Trust by holding a Sunday Funday down at the Zone, which included glitter tattoos, nail painting, face painting, teddy bear tombola and a general tombola, they also did a sponsored head shave where Dom had his head shaved by Huddersfield Giants player Kruise Leeming accompanied by Big G.
  • Team All Valley raised £717.83 for Kirkwood Hospice by running an auction evening auctioning off donated items from local businesses in Huddersfield including Limited Edition painting, many different beauty treatments, a family pass to Cannon Hall and much more.
  • Finally The Antons stole the lead on the actual evening of graduation by adding to their overall amount and raising a total of £730.21 for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice by doing a sponsored abseil at the Rock in Brighouse and also doing a charity bucket collection in Huddersfield Town centre.

Overall all the groups managed to raise £3,107.09 and with Barclays match funding £1000 to the total coming to £4,107.09. This was a fantastic amount of money to raise for local charities and it couldn’t have been done without the dedication of each young person, member of staff, partner and volunteers so a huge thank you to them.

After awards the young people got their time to dance, everyone got to bust out their moves to some old school classics, the evening rounded off on a high and all involved were exceptionally happy. Staff had enquires about young people wanting to become Graduates so I feel this is not the last of them!