On 22 July 2016, Rob Marris MP visited the National Citizen Service programme within Wolverhampton.
NCS is an intensive, part-residential programme for young people that takes place in the school summer holidays and in the February and Autumn half terms. Participants experience an action-packed stay at an outdoor centre followed by a week spent learning a new skill in a university-style setting, and then work to develop a social action project to deal with an issue about which they care. Once developed, the participants spend 30 hours putting their plan into action within their communities.
All 16 and 17 year olds across England, Wales, and Northern Ireland are eligible to participate. The price ranges from £35 to £50 and bursaries are available for families on low incomes. The website has more information on the programme, which can be accessed here.
The programme helps young people to develop important life skills, with participants reporting that the National Citizen Service programme significantly boosts their confidence, leadership and team-working skills. It also benefits Wolverhampton by bringing about social action, creating more jobs and building trust between young people from different backgrounds.
This year, The Challenge will work with over 650 schools and 2,000 business and community partners, and will employ over 2,500 staff to deliver NCS to 30,000 young people, with over 1,000 of them taking part in the Black Country.