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LEARNING FOR LIFE National Service for career-minded teenagers


FANCY giving your CV a Bear Grylls’ boost? Well, signing up to the National Citizen Service could be just the thing.


It provides a unique opportunity for 16 and 17 year olds to have fun building their work and social skills with fellow teenagers through activities such as abseiling, water rafting, kayaking and community projects.


The National Citizen Service has been running since 2011 and is backed by the Government, which means it costs participants just £50 or less to take part, with bursaries available on a case-by- case basis and extra support for young people with additional needs.


Jessica Roberts attended the NCS in Sittingbourne and used her musical talents to stage a gig for pioneering stem cell treatment in America for a neighbour with cystic fibrosis.


She said: “I found the course a huge boost to my self-confidence and a great way to meet people of my own age; the community project was a real opportunity to bring something of yourself to the party.”


THE NCS programme was designed and piloted in 2009 by social integration charity The Challenge, which remains the largest provider of the programme. It was formally announced in 2010 by then Prime Minister David Cameron as part of the Big Society initiative and was launched officially in 2011.


When the scheme was launched critics expected it to be an unpopular and unsuccessful non-military version of national service. Subsequently, however, it achieved cross-party support at Westminster.


After the 2015 election, the programme was continued under the Conservative government. In October 2016, Mr Cameron, who had resigned as Prime Minister, became chairman of the NCS Trust's patrons' board. In the 2016 Queen's Speech, it was announced that the scheme would be made permanent through a National Citizen Service Bill.


The NCS takes place outside term-time, with teens able to sign up for the part-residential experience either in the spring, summer or autumn.


Each programme includes experiences that focus on personal


and social development, including leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Teens spend a week at an outward bound facility, and a second week living away from home, typically at local university halls of residence, learning how to be self-sufficient.


A spokesman for the scheme said: “Not only do participants have the chance to give something back to their community, but the NCS also helps with job, college and university applications. NCS is now recognised by UCAS and so taking part is a sought after addition to any CV.”


To find out more information about NCS or to sign up to NCS visit NCSyes.co.uk or call 08001978010. Like it on facebook.com/ncs, follow it on Twitter @ncs or subscribe to NCSYes channel on YouTube.


24


Malling September 2017


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