Why NCS is the perfect summer experience for your teen

The emphasis of the NCS programme is on having a great time and making new friends, as well as devel

The emphasis of the NCS programme is on having a great time and making new friends, as well as developing, self reflecting and giving back to the local community Picture: NCS - Credit: Archant

Summer might feel like a way off, but places on the country's fastest-growing youth programme are booking up already. We caught up with teens who had taken part to hear what it's all about.

The NCS programme includes exhilarating outdoor challenges Picture: NCS

The NCS programme includes exhilarating outdoor challenges Picture: NCS - Credit: Archant

If you haven't heard any parents or teenagers rave about it yet, this is the gist: NCS is a three-four week programme that runs over the summer holidays.

Teens aged 15-17 spend their days making new friends and taking part in all sorts of exciting activities. We're talking exhilarating outdoor challenges (always supported by trained staff), life skills like cooking, budgeting and public speaking, and then giving back to their community in some way – this could be fundraising for a local charity, cleaning up a public space or something creative of their own making.

All in all, it's a great way to grow, learn and have a lot of fun over the holidays. So, what do teens who have taken part already think about it?

Blanka, from Peterborough, did NCS in 2018. 'NCS helped me understand nothing is impossible if I put in the hard work and time, encouraging me to fight for what I am passionate about,' she says. 'It also taught me independence in tasks such as managing my own money and time, and made me less scared for when I go to university or live on my own.'

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Ellie from Norwich echoes her points: 'It gave me the confidence to speak out in a group of people that I didn't know.' Gaining confidence and independence are running themes with teens who've graduated from the NCS programme.

There is a big emphasis not only on having a great time and making new friends (although this is a big part too), but also on developing, self reflecting and giving back to their local communities in some way. Working together on an issue they care deeply about is often the most popular and transformative part of the programme.

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'I got the opportunity to get involved with social action and positively benefit my community,' says Annmol from Bedfordshire. 'I really enjoyed planning the fundraiser at the end because you're raising money for charity while also having fun. I know how I can go about getting involved in charity work or my community in the future thanks to NCS.'

And we're not forgetting the skills they learn too, the sort employers and universities look out for. 'It's great to put on your CV or personal statement and is great to talk about during job/university interviews,' says Lauren, from Peterborough, proving that NCS isn't just a great time away, it's also a great investment in their future.

All of this, and it costs a maximum of £50, with bursaries available. 'Really cheap considering how much is included – my mum and dad particularly liked this part!' Lauren added.

Spaces for NCS programmes are already filling up fast, so make sure your teen doesn't miss out on the summer that could make their future. Head to WWW.NCSYES.CO.UK or call 0800 197 8010 to find out more.

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