If your teenager is anything like mine they’ll probably spend more time in their room either stuck on their XBOX or face down in their phone. So many teenagers could benefit from this fantastic experience so read on!
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.
WHAT AGES DOES IT COVER?
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.
I really wish I had been involved with something like this as a teenager, coming from a deprived area I didn’t know anything that was out there to help me better myself and move forward. It wasn’t until I went back to college age 19 that my tutor suggested University because of the grades I was achieving.
I had no idea Uni was an option for people like me, I thought you had to have rich parents to go to Uni. It just shows the naivety I had when I was a teenager. If I had have had the the chance to experience meeting people from different backgrounds then maybe I would have realised sooner about the opportunities that were open to me.
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, as I said, it would have helped me, and many of my friends massively.
THE PROGRAMME, IN A NUTSHELL
●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.
These are so many things that can benefit our young people. Teenagers don’t, and aren’t just the stereotypical kids drinking in the park, mouthing off at their parents. They can be so much more, they can experience so much more, and so they should.
A FEW FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW
●Almost 400,000 young people have taken part
●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
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.
I’ll be looking into this scheme for my boy, hopefully you’ll think it’s perfect for your teenagers too.
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.