National Citizen Service: Learn Skills for Life

Friday, 13 April 2018

Now Mikey is getting older and becoming more confident, he's looking for more and more different challenges to complete, especially without us! I wasn't sure what he could do, until I heard about the National Citizen Service.

NCS is a government funded programme that is open to 15 to 17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland. The two to four week programme takes place in the school holidays and 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.

The idea behind NCS is to help build a more cohesive and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, NCS helps them to become better individuals, which in turn helps them to become better citizens.

Also, as we're in a time of political uncertainty , NCS is a powerful tool to ensure that the next generation see more in their similarities than differences.

In the past, I'd heard about NCS on the radio while on the school run, but I can honestly say that I never properly listened as at the time Mikey was too young! Now looking at it again, both Mikey and I really like the idea of the programme. There are some things he's encountered before, but only as a solo effort for his Duke of Edinburgh award, so I love that with NCS he can work together with other people his age and make a real difference.

Although he's still only in Year 9, it's definitely something we'll be looking at when he's in Year 11.

To date, NCS has had almost 400,000 young people take part and more than 7 million hours of community action have been completed which is amazing and this year, more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds will come together with a common purpose.

What I though was pretty amazing is that for every £1 spent, NCS' 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society.

Now you would think that something like this would cost a fair amount, maybe in the hundreds? Especially as it lasts for two to four weeks. Well, you'd be wrong!  NCS costs just £50, which includes food, accommodation and travel. Which is amazing value for money! Bursaries are also available on a case by case basis and support is also provided for young people with additional needs.

There are still places available for Year 11s to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. Don't worry if your teen is interested but have school holiday plans as NCS will endeavor to find a place for them at a time that suits :)

To register for information and to sign up now, head over to the NCS website.

You can find out more about NCS on their website, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post.