Volunteering can help build your skills and confidence

Volunteering is a great way to build confidence and learn new skills, while helping others in the process. Here's how the National Citizen Service can help.

Volunteer with the National Citizen Service (NCS)

Volunteering is a great way to build confidence and learn new skills, while helping others in the process.

As part of the National Citizen Service (NCS), alongside the two or three week full time programme, it also includes 30 hours committed to a community project.

What is the National Citizen Service?

Launched in 2011 it is open to 15 to 17-year-olds across England and Northern Ireland. It brings young people from different backgrounds together with the aim of developing greater confidence, self-awareness and responsibility through volunteering.

It looks great on your CV, can help with jobs, college and university applications as it’s recognised by UCAS.

Government backing means that it costs just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis – so that every young person has the opportunity to take part.

Extra support is provided for young people who need additional financial support.

The programme takes place three times a year, in the spring, summer and autumn holiday. So far more than 130,000 young people have taken part.

Breakdown of the programme

Stage 1: In the first week, teens experience the freedom of staying away from home at an outdoor activity centre for up to four days and three nights. They’ll be split into groups and will take part in activities like rock climbing, canoeing, hiking and archery.

Stage 2: Staying in the same teams, in the second week, teens spend up to four days and three nights in university-style accommodation where they’ll manage a budget, cook for themselves, meet local businesses and learn about teamwork and leadership.

In this week they will experience a St John’s Ambulance first aid course, visit the Sky Skills Academy to learn how to package a news bulletin, or take part in a Barclays Money Management course. The idea is to help foster skills that are useful in everyday life and offer a great taster of employment.

Stage 3: Lastly, they’ll design a social action project to help make a difference in their community, and spend 30 hours putting it into practice.

How to get involved

Register your interest via the website at: www.ncsyes.co.uk

Once your information has been submitted, your local programme provider will be in touch to discuss dates, costs and arrangements.

Read more: How do I decide what to do with my life?

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