Every year since 2011, young people who have just finished their GCSEs have been taking part in something special, challenging and uplifting.
The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a government-backed program to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. But, as far as your average Year 11 is concerned, it’s all about having fun and making friends. They will hardly notice that they’re becoming more independent, learning essential life skills and helping to transform communities.
NCS is open to young people across England and Northern Ireland after they complete their GCSEs. It is a two to four week programme, taking place in the school holidays, which includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential and a community-based social action project. What better way to spend that long post-GCSE summer holiday?
NCS is changing lives and helping to tackle some of the country’s biggest social challenges. It is giving young people the tools to change the world around them for the better.
At a time of political uncertainty, where divisions in society are sadly evident, NCS is a great way to bring young people together and help them see more similarities than differences. It does this by putting them through a series of challenges decided to take them out of their comfort zones and strengthen their character. As the programme progresses, the young people gradually take over more responsibility, developing leadership skills essential for the workplace.
And NCS helps teenagers connect with their communities through social action – meaning it delivers benefits back into society. In fact, for every £1 spent on NCS in 2016, between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefit was delivered back to society.
And, at the end of all that fun and hard work, there’s a celebration evening for teenagers to celebrate all they’ve achieved with their new friends.
Think you can’t afford it? Think your son or daughter wouldn’t cope? Think it would clash with your holiday? Think again!
The whole experience, including food, accommodation and travel costs just £50 (that sounds cheaper than feeding a teenager at home in my experience!) and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is available for young people with additional needs.
If you’re worried about the date clashing with your holidays, go ahead and sign up and NCS will do their very best to find your son or daughter a space at a time that works for you.
This year 100,000 teenagers, or one in six 16 year olds, from different backgrounds will take part in an NCS programme to live together and develop skills together. Through this once in a lifetime experience, they will be becoming not only better individuals, but better citizens.
When my own son brought home a leaflet about it last year, I was very excited about the prospect, but for some unknown reason, he decided not to take part. This surprised me as the great outdoors is his thing and he is the most dedicated Scout/ Explorer you could wish to come across. So when my younger son brings home his own leaflet in a couple of years, I will definitely be encouraging him to take part.
There are still places available for current Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now, go to the NCS website
And if your child is in Year 9 or 10, encourage them to take part in this rite of passage when their time comes!
Follow NCS on social media:
- Facebook @NCS
- Twitter @NCS
- Instagram @NCSyes
This is a sponsored post.