This month we’re working closely with National Citizen Service to tell you all about how it can benefit teenagers and help them embark on exhilarating challenges and build some genuinely helpful skills for life. As parent to a 15 year old myself, this is something I’ve been really interested to learn more about as it sounds like such an amazing opportunity.
What is NCS?
NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.
NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme, which takes place in school holidays, includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.
It is so important that programs like this exist and at a time of huge political uncertainty, where division is more evident than togetherness, NCS is a powerful tool to ensure the next generation see more in their similarities than differences.
My daughter is already so much more confident and self-aware than I was at her age (thank goodness!) and at such a crucial time in her life when she is striving for her own Independence and her personality continues to develop, I’m keen to make sure that she has access to the best experiences and opportunities life can throw at her.
The NCS program sounds like an incredibly affordable way to give all 15 to 17-year-olds the chance to come together and achieve some amazing things. It looks look great fun too!
In a nutshell, this is what you can expect from the programme:
Puts young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zones and develop their strength of character
Provides a progressive journey that hands over more responsibility to young people as the programme progresses and develops leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace
Enables young people to connect with their communities through social action.
To date Almost 400,000 young people have taken part and more than seven million hours of community action have been completed. For every £1 spent, NCS’ 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society.
How can your teenager get involved?
This year more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds will come together in common purpose on NCS. That means one in six of the cohort of 16 year olds will live together, develop skills together and build community projects together. How amazing is that?!
If you are worried about costs and any other barriers then there really is no need. NCS is amazing value for money. The whole experience including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs. If you are struggling with any additional requirements then it may be worth reaching out and speaking to the NCS team as they are super flexible and very willing to help get your teenager a spot on program that will suit their individual needs.
There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now, go to the NCS website here.