When my 16-year-old son came home from school excited to tell me about an opportunity to attend a programme in the summer holidays which involved a stay away from home I was shocked!
This is my teenage son who is chained to his computer in his bedroom never five minutes away from a wi-fi signal and here he was telling me all about a 4-week programme he wanted to attend during the school holidays, yes his own free time!
National Citizen Service – Let your teenager learn valuable life skills
Over a cup of tea we chatted about National Citizen Service, to be honest, it was the first time I had heard about this government baked programme that was 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 had been into his school that day to talk about the programme and for the first time ever I could see it was something he was excited about the prospect of going on, nervous but excited. My son wanted to step out of his comfort zone and experience new things, gain new skills and hopefully friends for life.
What is NCS
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 a division is more evident than togetherness, NCS is a powerful tool to ensure the next generation see more in their similarities than differences.
He explained to me that the programme is split into three parts each to work on a different area of there lives, develop and strengthen leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace.
My son is excited to be pushed out of his little comfort zone and try things he normally wouldn’t dream of doing and as a parent, I couldn’t be more proud or excited for him too.
I actually couldn’t believe I had never heard about this before especially as I have an older son, When researching I found out that more than seven million hours of community action have been completed, Almost 400,000 young people have taken part and For every £1 spent, NCS’ 2016 summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society
I realised this is what my kind of social recluse son needed to gain skills ready for the big wide world and learn things he could never learn in the classroom or at home. I really believe it could be the making of him.
We hadn’t discussed the cost at this point and I had already said yes, go for it, so you can imagine my shock when I found out the whole 4-week programme costs only £50 and that includes food, accommodation and travel costs and even bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is also provided for young people with additional needs.
The programme consists of three phases:
Phase one Adventure
Phase one, it’s time to challenge yourself!
Living with your team at an outdoor activity centre, you’ll get to know some amazing people and enjoy some quality time away from home.
The best part? You’ll find yourself in a group of 12-15 incredible people you’ve never met before – people who will change your life and whose lives you’ll change.
I would encourage any parent them to sign up their year 11 teenager for this once in a lifetime experience this summer where their teen will have fun while building their confidence, making new friends and learning life skills.
Even if you have already made plans for the summer sign up for further information as no matter what your commitments or summer holiday plans, NCS will endeavour to get your teen a spot on a programme at a time that suits.
NCS are building a movement that is changing lives and helping to tackle some of our country’s biggest social challenges. They believe that if you give young people the right tools, opportunities and respect they will change the world around them. They are driven by the ambition that every young person should have the opportunity to take part in NCS, building a generation who see themselves not as passengers in society, but as drivers.
NCS should be a rite of passage for all: transforming communities by engaging generations of young people, dont let your teen miss out!
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
I cannot wait to update my readers on how my son got on when he attends this summer
Get social and check NCS out with your year 11 child on the NCS social media pages:
○ Facebook: @NCS
○ Twitter: @NCS
○ Instagram: @NCSyes