National Citizen Service for Year 11 teens for Summer 2018 

By | April 24, 2018

Being a parent to two teenagers (a son of 15 and a daughter of 13, both with autism), I cannot help but worry about the world that they are growing up in, not just from an additional needs viewpoint but also with regard to the multiple stabbings in London so far this year.

We live in an ever-increasingly multi-cultural society and, growing up, I had a need to “belong” with a group of like-minded friends, we all do, to find our “tribe”, people who understand us for who we are, irrespective of skin colour, race, religion or additional needs.  

It might seem easier in the age of social media to find new potential friendships, but social media has its pluses and minuses, as we all know.

So, when an email popped into my inbox from the National Citizen Service inviting me to help spread the word about the government-backed programme they are running during the summer holidays to promote inclusion, to get Year 11, 16-17 year olds from all backgrounds together in a fun environment whilst at the same time teaching valuable life skills, it sounded like something I’d most certainly want to share.

The programme costs just £50 for a 2-4 week programme during the summer holidays (bursaries are available) and 1 in 6 of 16-17 year olds have already signed up for the programme, that’s over 100,000 teenagers of differing backgrounds who will be making new friendships, have fun working together and helping their local community, with a graduation evening at the end of the programme. That’s really quite impressive already! 

There is scope for many, many more teens to attend, at dates that suit holidays and family commitments, please click here to register your interest to receive more details.

I’m also reassured by the fact that additional needs will be catered for. D’s SN school works extremely hard on respecting the individuality of each pupil, whilst very much a school community and it would be positive to think that a little bit more awareness of additional needs could be generated by bringing together teens in an environment which may not have previously been available or accessible.

Both T and D are too young to attend this year but I can see how the NCS programme would benefit them both.

For T, he lives and breathes football, it is his passion and has been from as soon as he could pull himself up whilst watching a match. His knowledge of match stats and facts is amazing and all-consuming, for him to attend would benefit him so much, especially from a team-working, sense of achievement perspective.

For D, it would be an opportunity to build on her confidence in an accepting environment, she suffers from a multitude of anxieties so the fact that additional needs can be accommodated (as it should be) is re-assuring.

Here’s some information about the 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. 


To date: 

● 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.”

It all sounds so beneficial for our teens, doesn’t it? I’m looking forward to tracking via the NCS website how this year’s programmes have gone and raising the possibility of my two attending in upcoming years.

As mentioned before, there are places available and interest can be registered here.

*This is a collaborative post 

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