Best foot forward for NCS young people

STEPPING OUT: The NCS youngsters at Boscombe Pier before they set off on their fundraising sponsored walk

Young people taking part in the National Citizen Service (NCS) completed a sponsored walk from Boscombe Pier to Hengistbury Head on the hottest day of the year.

The young people, raising money for social action projects they are undertaking as part of their courses this summer, needed plenty of water and sunscreen on the four-mile walk.

The walk took place on the third week of the four week programme, for the current cohort of 83 teenagers and they followed it with a week of community work in the local community.

NCS is a government scheme created for all 15-17 year olds with courses taking place during the autumn and summer holidays, offering meaningful activities without impacting on educational timetables.

Bournemouth-based charitable housing association BCHA, which administers the scheme locally, delivers the course in three stages and there is a total of 360 young people participating this summer.

NCS Programme Leader Anna Garrett said: “They are a really lovely group of teenagers whose community projects include helping care homes, working with local cancer charities and awareness campaigns around climate change and the refugee crisis.”

“It is marvellous to see these young people from all walks of life mixing so well together, meeting new people, gaining confidence and learning life skills which will stand them in good stead for adulthood.”

JUMP TO IT: NCS sponsored walk participants take the scenic route along the beach

The programme includes a week’s residential camp at an outdoor activity centre, a Bournemouth University hall residential and two non-residential weeks where they plan and deliver social action projects which benefit the local community.

A graduation ceremony is held for all participants who complete NCS to attend with their family and friends. Each NCS participant is rewarded with an NCS certificate signed by the Prime Minister, a first aid certificate and a volunteering certificate from the Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Service.

NCS works with 18 schools locally, taking assemblies and sitting in on tutor groups to encourage young people to sign up to the programme, which is universally recognised by both employers and UCAS as demonstrating evidence of working within a team and taking part in extra-curricular activities.

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