16 and 17-year-olds fromTeesValleyhave a second chance at a once in a life time opportunity to take part in National Citizen Service (NCS) during the October half-term holiday.
Following the success of the scheme over the summer, where nearly 1000 young people took part, it is being made available to young people in the autumn for the first time.
This means that anyone who couldn’t take part over the Summer can now enrol for the Autumn programme but they will have to act fast as demand for places is high.
375 young people from Tees Valley will be taking part in a week’s residential where they will have the chance to do a range of outdoor activities or the opportunity to take to the seas with Tall Ships or Ocean Youth Trust.
The new autumn programme will give more young people a chance to get involved in NCS. Over half term they will spend time away from home doing outdoor activities and learning new skills. During the rest of the programme, taking place over the following six weekends, they will work with their teams to learn about their community and organise and run their own social action projects. At the end of the programme the young people will take part in a team test then celebrate with a graduation.
NCS ambassador Bear Grylls said “National Citizen Service is an incredible programme which reaches out to young people in all communities around the country and offers them the chance to learn great life and outdoor skills.
“It gives them opportunities to develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, adventure, pride and responsibility. I would urge young people to sign up to the places available to take part in this brilliant scheme this autumn.”
Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, said: “We want to offer every teenager the opportunity to take part in National Citizen Service.
“It’s an incredibly positive programme that brings young people from across the country together, stretching them with new experiences and with the chance to do something very positive in their community, while also developing skills that will make them more work ready.”
The autumn programme builds on the success of NCS, now in its second pilot year, which was so popular that in the independent evaluation from 2011, nine out of 10 young people who’d been involved said that they would recommend it to a friend.
One such successful graduate, Thomas Smith from Teesside, found that NCS came at exactly the right time for him as he’d recently lost his mum and was finding things very difficult.
He said: “The programme included lots of fun activities such as quad biking and archery and I soon found I was really pushing myself and enjoying trying new things.
“I got lots of support and have made loads of new friends from the scheme. I would definitely encourage other people, even if they are shy or unsure like I was, to take part in NCS because they will see the benefits and end up feeling loads better about themselves.”