The National Citizens Programme (NCS) is a government backed programme established in 2011.
NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. It is a two to four week programme, taking place in school holidays. Whilst there participants get to take part in a range of activities and team building skills, including 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 NCS aims to bring together young people from different backgrounds to ensure the next generation see less differences between themselves. This being one of the main aims of NCS with the current political uncertainty and division. NCS accepts youngsters of all different backgrounds be it race, religion, disabilities, class etc. Everyone is treated as equal.
Whilst participating in the programme young people go through many challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zones and develop character strengths. Activities include water sports, sports, hikes, first aid & learning lots of new skills.
For many 16/17 year olds, this will be the first real time spent away from home and their parents. The programme helps to develop more responsibility and leadership skills which of course are needed tosucceed in the workplace.
Almost 400,000 young people have taken part in the programme. It does make me wish that my son was a little older, he turns 14 tomorrow. If this programme is still about in 2 years then I will happily send him.
I think NCS is excellent value for money The whole 2-4 weeks experience includes food, accommodation and travel cost. It costs just £50. Bursaries and support are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.
For every £1 spent, NCS’ 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society.
This year alone more than a 100,000 young people will come together on NCS. Despite a multitude of different backgrounds they will live together and build community projects together.
There are still places available this year on NCS for those in school year 11. Parents can sign up on the NCS website and also find more information on there. Although the programme is active during the Summer holidays, NCS realise that families may have other commitments and plans during these times and so will endeavour to get a youngster a place on the programme at a time that suits.
This sounds an amazing opportunity for young people just leaving school, to provide them with various life skills and help to prepare them for the working world. It is definitely something which I would love my children to participate in when they are old enough.
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