Impact Story: Mary's NCS experience Although having complex mental health difficulties, Mary decided to take part in the NCS programme to challenge herself and support a future application to university. Mary had a very supportive home life and a good supportive college experience but she had very few friends and limited access to the community. Mary was very withdrawn when she started her NCS experience. During NCS, Mary completed the residential, starting off as very shy and quiet and ending by engaging in a team activity of raft building with another young person who she now calls her friend. Mary completed the community week achieving a first aid qualification, becoming a dementia friend, meeting with social action projects in pitches and visiting a local university. By the end of NCS, Mary was able to go out on the visits, engage with some of the members of her team, work with staff and fully support and contribute to the social action project. Although Mary still struggles with social events and crowds, NCS has supported her to challenge herself and confront her anxieties whilst achieving lots in a short space of time. Her confidence has grown and she has accessed more of her community than ever before whilst giving back to a charity she is passionate about. Mary’s mum was so proud that she completed the programme and is keen to continue and build on this success. NCS has given this young person a real sense of achievement. Well done Mary. *The name of this young person has been changed for confidentiality reasons.