Thursday, 31 May 2012

Independent evaluation reveals the benefits of National Citizen Service

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New research reveals that the Government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) scheme gives young people the chance to develop skills for the future and helps them feel more positive towards people from different backgrounds.

The research, conducted by a consortium led by NatCen Social Research, analyses the results of the 2011 NCS pilots, showing the benefits of the programme, both for participants and wider society. The Challenge Network is the lead provider of the NCS through The Challenge programme, delivering 10,000 of the 30,000 places available this year.

Across the whole programme, 85% of 2011 NCS participants agreed that the scheme had made them feel more positive towards people from different backgrounds. The study also reveals that over 200,000 hours of social action were completed by NCS participants and 77% of participants said that following NCS they were more likely to help out locally.

The Challenge Network also surveys participants. Of the 3100 participants that took part in The Challenge in 2011, 93% said they were better at understanding what life is like for people different to them. Furthermore, over 1000 of our 2011 graduates have stayed engaged in social action projects through our year-round programme, The Challenge Society, which is open to both Challenge graduates and non-NCS participants.

It is encouraging to see the positive impact the NCS is having on communities across the country. The Challenge Network looks forward to furthering these benefits through our 2012 programmes.

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