Sign up for NCS 2018 now
Run by the UK’s leading social integration charity, The Challenge, National Citizen Service aims to create a stronger and more understanding society by bringing 15-17-year-olds together for a summer of adventure activities, making new friends, learning new skills, and contributing to their local community.
With recent research from NCS showing that the summer holidays cost parents an average of £600 per child, at just £50 for the entire four week experience - including food, accommodation and activities - NCS could help parents save hundreds of pounds this summer. To sign up, click here.
The affordable programme offers teenagers a jam-packed and fulfilling summer, by taking part in various activities together such as rock-climbing and kayaking, learning to cook and how to budget, and volunteering in their communities. They’re also given support with public speaking and campaigning before pitching their ideas to a team of professional business people.
Helping young people to build their independence and confidence through overcoming challenges and learning new skills for work and life, NCS can also boost job, college and university applications.
One young person who took part last year said: "NCS allowed me to do things I thought I would never do. It really showed me that I can overcome my boundaries and I learnt to be more independent and outgoing. If you're looking for a summer of fun, that is both productive and enjoyable, NCS is for you. Just do it!"
Tracey, who’s daughter took part last year, said: “My daughter has blossomed in so many ways. She’s more confident, made some fantastic new friends and completed activities that she never thought she was capable of.”
By bringing people of different nationalities, ethnicities, age, social class, employment status, sexuality, gender and abilities together, NCS also encourages mixing and interaction across all social divides.
Dominic May, performance and operations director for The Challenge, said: “Research shows that we tend to build friendships with people with a similar education, of a similar age and ethnicity as ourselves, meaning we are missing out on connecting with our wider society. NCS is a unique experience, which gives young people a new and better perception of our so-called ‘differences’, and in turns drives The Challenge’s mission and vision of creating a more integrated society.”
As well as saving money for parents and giving young people an exciting and eye-opening summer experience, additional benefits of taking part in the programme have been highlighted by The Challenge’s partnership with Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict. They found that young people had an increase in understanding, empathy, respect and better connections with people they would ordinarily have judged as ‘different’.
They also confirmed that half the young people who took part in 2017 planned to volunteer to help their local community, while one-third of participants felt more empowered to make a difference.
* Young people seeking a fun-filled summer with NCS should visit www.ncsthechallenge.org or call 020 3510 5050 to sign up. If they refer a friend they will receive a voucher while their friend will receive a discount *
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