Fast-track your future with NCS – An initiative highlighted by Rita OraBy Sj.Cliff
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that builds skills for work and life for 16 and 17 year olds. Now in its third year, NCS is a three-week residential programme packed with activities such as hiking, canoeing and climbing.
Alongside this, participants take part in social action projects designed to develop personal and social skills as well as making a difference in their own lives, and the lives of those in their community.
The Student Guide team got the chance to visit the beautiful village of Edale in the Peak District, where this year’s spring participants were nearing the end of their residential placement.
The teenagers were an excitable bunch of 16 or 17 years old and had signed up for the programme through The Hull Tigers Trust – NCS providers for Hull and East Riding.
Over 26,000 young people participated in NCS in 2012, and the programme is growing in leaps and bounds, with up to 50,000 opportunities to get involved this year.
Around 92% of those young people who took part said that they had a chance to develop useful skills for the future, and you can see why.
The atmosphere and camaraderie we witnessed during the rock climbing excursion was inspiring. We were cheered to the top and back down again by young people in a shower of support and confidence.
We were surprised to hear later, that many of the young people involved today were lacking in confidence at the beginning of the week.
The aim of NCS is to highlight the importance of self-belief and confidence as the key to unlock potential and kick-start a better future for young people.
They have teamed up with SB.TV, the UK’s leading online youth TV channel, featuring six exclusive self-belief video’s starring Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora and Wretch 32 – all sharing their views on how self-belief made a difference to their lives and careers, helped them believe in themselves and make the right choices.
The Hull Tigers Trust Team
“I love it, it’s absolutely great to be a part of it,” said Hayley Richardson, one of last year’s graduates, who now works alongside The Hull Tigers Trust in promoting the NCS programme to new participants.
“That’s why I stayed involved this year to promote it for other people because you’d be wrong to miss it. It’s made me a lot more confident. Last year I went on the London O2 arena stage in front of a thousand people and did a presentation about NCS. I wouldn’t have done that without going on it first.”
Mollie Jacklin, another of The Hull Tigers Trust’s graduates, felt that the programme also helped her in a variety of ways, equipping her with skills that will last a lifetime.
“I learned how to socialise with new people and how to get involved in different things that are happening outside of school. Just being able to make friends with new people and doing new activities I’ve never experienced before. It’s once in a lifetime.”
Mollie Jacklin (left) and Hayley Richardson (right) pose with our guides.
The programme, consisting of two residential placements and 30 hours’ worth of social action within the local community has a capped entry fee of £50 but with bursaries available. Every young person in England has the opportunity to participate, regardless of background, experience or whether their strengths lie in sport, creativity or academics.
It is also an excellent way to boost your university application by the recognition of the scheme by UCAS to help make you stand out from the crowd. If you’re not going onto university, the programme looks great on a CV and gives you skills and experience to boast about.
If you’re not eligible to partake in the scheme, but feel you have skills, experience or simply enthusiasm to offer, The Hull Tigers Trust is looking to expand their reach and work alongside current students and graduates.
NCS is a nationwide programme, and is run by different providers in different regions. Visit the NCS website and find your local provider to see what ways you could get involved.
As for The Student Guide team, we ended the day very exhausted and cold but thrilled we had taken part in an amazing day.
You can also follow NCS on Twitter, and keep up to date with their progress using the hashtags #NCSYes and #SelfBelief.