National Citizen Service – summer fun for teens!


A couple of months ago, I was talking to a friend who has older teens, and she mentioned that hers had both been away with the National Citizen Service {NCS}, and how much they loved it. It wasn’t something that I had heard of before, so after chatting with her a little, I went home to investigate more. It gives teens the chance to learn essential life skills, live away from home, build their confidence and make new friends. All for £50! Lola isn’t old enough this year, but she loves the sound of it, and will definitely be signing up next year.


What is the NCS?

The NCS is a government-backed programme, that aims to bring together young people from different backgrounds for a unique shared experience, and to help them become better individuals, and in turn better citizens. NCS is open to 16 and 17 year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. The programme, which takes place during the summer 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. It is a fantastic way for young people to step out of their comfort zone and build strength of character, as well as connect with their local communities through social action. This year more than 100,000 teenagers from different backgrounds will come together in common purpose on NCS.


How the NCS works

The NCS is made up of four phases, spread over a 3-4 week period.

Phase 1 – Adventure ~ A five day with adrenaline filled activities such as canoeing, rock climbing and abseiling

Phase 2 – Discovery ~ Another five-day residential, this time in a uni -style environment. You’ll develop life skills such confidence, leadership and communication to boost your CV or UCAS personal statement.

Phase 3 – Action ~ Together with your team, you’ll put the skills you’ve developed into practice, and plan and deliver a community project! Plan, fundraise, make a difference!

Phase 4 – Celebration ~ Finally you get to celebrate all that you have achieved with an end of programme celebration event, complete with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.

11th September 2016 NCS Graduation @ Athena, Leicester, UK © Tom Horton

If your teen is looking for something to occupy them this summer, the good news is that there are still spaces available for this summer! While 3-4 weeks can be a big commitment to fit in around everything else they may have going on, the NCS will do whatever they can to get you a place at a time that suits you. Why not take a look at the NCS website and find out a little more? At just £50 – that covers travel, accommodation, food, and all activities – it is the best gift you could give your teen this summer!


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