My teenage son is like most year 11’s. His day consists of school, playing a little sport, Xbox and YouTube. Not really something I want him to be doing (obviously the school and sport I do) but there is only so much I can push him to do. But a couple of months ago he came home with a leaflet and was super excited about something called National Citizen Service (NCS) and after reading through I started to get excited too and I signed him up right away.
So 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.
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.
In a nutshell, 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.
●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.
See why I signed him up straight away? It’s an amazing opportunity to make new friends, build his confidence and learn life skills that can’t be taught in a classroom. He actually will go on his 16th birthday but he doesn’t mind at all because he is so excited. He’s been difficult to live with lately. Exam pressure, teenage hormones etc are taking their toll on him. His dad and I have both said we think going to NCS this summer is going to be brilliant for him in more ways than one.
If this is something you would like your Year 11 to do but worry about the plans you’ve already made this summer, don’t, just register for further information because NCS are great because they endeavour to get all teens a spot on the course for a time to suit your needs.
And if you’re thinking maybe next year because this year will be too late? Nope, because 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.