Any parent with a teenage son or daughter (like me) instinctively knows what an challenging time of life it can be, not just for us parents but our beloved kids too. We can all relate back to that time, albeit a long time ago, when we were teenagers and can remember the trials and tribulations that often involved.
In a world that is increasingly lived and monitored through the microscope that is social media, teens these days arguably face more pressure to be accepted and valued by there peers than ever before.
This is where the government backed National Citizen Service (NCS) is hugely beneficial to the young people of today, by focussing its efforts on giving youngsters the right experience and opportunities to tackle our country’s various social challenges – giving them a more enjoyable and fulfilled life.
Aimed at teens who are 15-17 years old, the NCS provides a 2-4 week experience which helps young people gain confidence, self-belief, leadership skills, not a mention a bucket load of memories!
The beauty of such an experience is that it brings together young people from a wide range of different backgrounds and provides them with a variety of challenging activities to not only work as a team, but as an individual too. This gives them a strong sense of togetherness, a better understanding of people from other backgrounds and helps develop their strength of character.
When you consider that the whole experience costs just £50 including food, accommodation and travel costs, the NCS is extremely good value for money – not to mention a whole lot of fun.
During 2018, over a 100,000 teenagers from across the UK will come together under the NCS programme – which means one in six of the cohort of 16 year olds will live together, develop skills together and build community projects together.
The NCS has a wider impact that than though, as it has teamed up with hundreds of other youth organisations around the country, each with their own unique ability to help inspire any young person who undertakes the NCS programme.
Young people who participate and complete the month long programme, will have a hugely positive impact in their local community and in the longer term, this engagement with teenagers will help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society in the UK.
My teenage son isn’t old enough to get involved with the NCS yet, but I’ve little doubt that when he turns 15 next year, that he’ll want to give this once in a lifetime experience a go, especially knowing the fun he will have building his confidence, making new friends and learning life skills that can’t be taught in a classroom.
We all know the struggle it can be to keep the whole family happy during the 6 week summer holidays, so don’t let your 15-17 year old be bored out of their mind this summer, encourage them to learn more about the National Citizen Service and more importantly the benefits (and fun!) that they can enjoy during the holidays by getting involved.
So if you’re the parent of a Year 11 teen or know someone who is, then make sure you encourage them to take up one of the place available to participate in this once in a lifetime opportunity this summer. To sign up now or to learn more go to the NCS website.
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