East Durham parents interested in seeing their teenager build confidence, make new friends and develop important life skills are encouraged to get their child to sign up for the National Citizen Service (NCS) Summer 2016 programme before it’s too late.
Thousands of teenagers from across the North East are currently taking part in the government-backed scheme, including many from the East Durham area who embarked on early summer dates.
There’s a final chance for teens aged 16 & 17 to take part in the programme, with an East Durham specific departure date planned for Monday 8th August.
The four week, part-residential programme will include a week’s stay in the Lake District or Scottish borders complete with plenty of outdoor activities, followed by a week staying away from home in university style accommodation in the centre of Durham where young people work with local businesses to improve employability skills and create their own social action project where teens will give back to their communities by volunteering and fundraising.
The programme is backed by the government so signing up will never cost more than £50 including food, transport and accommodation. Young people eligible for free school meals can take part for £10. A half-price offer is currently running on late summer place availability which means teens can take part for £25 or £5.
16 year old Kyle Bell from Thornley is currently midway through the programme. The Apollo Studio Academy pupil said: “I’ve made loads of new friends so far.
“During week two we stayed at St Chad’s university halls in Durham. It’s been great for independent living. I even have my own room with en-suite bathroom!
“I’m looking forward to doing the social action phase of NCS. It gives you a chance to give something back to your community.”
Another participant, Beth Wyvill, also 16, said: “I signed up to NCS because I liked the idea of helping and being beneficial to the community and creating a lasting community project.”
Beth, who completed her GCSEs at Dene Community School and is planning to study aerospace engineering at Hartlepool College of FE, continued: “For anyone thinking about doing NCS I’d say just go for it; you meet some amazing people and make friends for life. The staff and team leaders have been brilliant too.”
During the next phase of NCS, the pair will work with their team to create a social action project that make a difference to their local area.
In East Durham, the final summer departure date is on Monday 8th August, although places are now very limited. A condensed version of the programme also runs in the autumn half-term.