It all starts at yes. NCS(12 Posts)
My DS2 16 got a letter about the National Citizen Service. Is it as good as it sounds? sounds too good to be true during austerity. Have any MNers got experience of this scheme?
"Along with thousands of other people their age, participants enjoy different outdoor activities and develop confidence and skills - especially the teamwork and leadership skills that employers and admission tutors value. They learn lots, help their local community and perhaps most importantly of all, make new friends, developing socially too.
They will take part in two away weeks in the summer (or one in the spring or autumn programme) and be given the opportunity to create a project they really care about and bring it to life in their local area.
NCS is accessible to all, regardless of income, ability, educational attainment or ambition. With government backing, costs are capped at £50, and bursaries are available."
Thanks for any advice....
Absolutely fantastic. Grab the opportunity quick before someone realises this is just sucking money out of the Youth Service that could be put to better use.
ds did his through something called 'The Challenge'.
- a week (5 days maybe?)away at an outdoor education place, all food and accommodation and instruction and activities paid for
home to get the clothes washed then
- 5 days living in university flats, given money to buy and cook their food, etc., while tehy did a 'creative' activity of their choice
- 3rd week where they did live at home, but did a week working together to plan a community service or community event.
All for £35 if you paid by credit card, by a certain date, or £50 if you paid later. This included a hoodie, which generally cost £20 ish, plus transport to the outdoor ed place.
Absolutely fantastic time had by all, and it keeps them occupied and doing something after GCSEs for a few weeks. Lot of parents said it did wonders for their child's confidence (ds was already very confident and comfortable with staying away from home, catering for self, etc.)
Go for it.
Thank-you Thank-you! I think my DSs will be on their way. What fun!
It sounds brilliant ... but I do wonder why the Government has decided to spend money reinventing the Scouts, Guides, Duke of Edinburgh's Award etc which have been doing this for decades!
I read about it on MN. My DS is doing it this year, it sounds like they'll have a great time; lots of fantastic activities, do some useful community work, use up some if the endless post GCSE break & have something positive to put on personal statement/CV.
Looks like a winner to me.
I absolutely agree AChickenCalledKorma. I think it's a shocking use of money that could have been allocated to the Youth Service for really useful work amongst youngsters who haven't had those opportunities (from a "society" pov), but from a parent of a 16yr old pov, it's just too good an opportunity to miss - fantastic for the youngsters, who would otherwise be kicking their heels post GCSE.
ds did his under 'The Challenge" banner, and I believe that was targeted at big cities rather than open to all, and he definitely found (having been a Scout for Years) that the whole programme was assuming that you'd never been away from home before, never done the outdoor ed stuff before, never been expected to cook for yourself, etc., before. The whole admin of it seemed to assume that neither the young person, nor the family had other things going on in their lives either, and were a bit vague about getting firm dates and times out in advance, etc., but over all, a great opportunity for the youngsters.
I friend of mine has been involved in this locally.
The original idea was to give every young person the sort of opportunities that you get through other youth organisations, but as always the take up has been more problematic.
So round here the typical 16 your old that attends is from more affluent background and has already taken part in many other similar activities. Whereas the young people that it was really developed for, those from poorer families who do not do scouting, DofE etc are not enrolling. And they are the ones who have also really lost out because of the cuts in other youth services.
It was Cameron's big idea so even though it is not successful in attracting a wide audience, it won't be scrapped whilst he is PM I should think.
creamteas, thats interesting.
My DS (encouraged strongly by me) signed up some months ago.
The organisers only went to his school about 6 weeks ago. By that time many of the students had jobs & other commitments lined up. 5 or 6 weeks is a big chunk of time. So, by default, most of the other participants have been signed up by proactive parents.
Having said that, DS has already met most of his group & they come from a big range of socio economic backgrounds.
DD1 (18) has done this twice and is looking to take part this year as a group volunteer/leader. She had a fab time. Was already quite confident but she came back even more so with a group of new friends all within forty minutes away. She said there were lots from 'deprived' areas as it was offered free of charge and they did sooo many activities that would have racked up into £100s if we'd been paying.
I did this couse last summer and I thought it was a complete waste of time. Okay it was only £35 but I only enjoyed the first week where we did the outdoor education. The second week away at Keele Uni was absolutely terrible. We spent half of the day having free time which we had absolutely nothing to do apart from play with a foam frisber we found. The rest of the day was either spent in the dining hall eating or in lecture halls getting bored to death by people who constantly drone on and on when they talk. Quite a few of us were considering calling a taxi home and leaving the rest of the project. The last 2 weeks weren't amazing either as we went to a community centre to plan some community event which completely flopped. Yes okay I did make some pretty good friends but 9 months on we haven't talked about the NCS project at all in that time. I'd reccomend anybody who is thinking in taking part in the NCS programme to scrap the idea and spend 4 weeks working somewhere as you will earn money and actuallu gain some skills.
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