A once in a lifetime experience with the NCS – Sign your Year 11 up now

As a Mum to a 14 year old, I know that when it comes to teenagers they need all the encouragement just to get out of bed in the morning, take a shower, and get outdoors for a little fresh air. Although Lewis loves outdoor activities, he can go an entire weekend holed up in his bedroom, curtains drawn, chatting to his friends on his headset whilst they battle it out on the Playstation. I feel I spend my entire Summer telling him, “Open your curtains! Get your shorts on! It’s too nice to sit inside on day like this!”. But if his friends are on holiday or they have other plans, rather than make an effort with new friends or find something else to do, he will mope about the house getting under my feet and increasingly fed up!

Recently I discovered National Citizen Service (NCS) and it seems like the answer to my, and many other parents, dreams!

NCS is a government backed programme established in 2011 to help build a more cohesive, mobile and engaged society. By bringing together young people from different backgrounds for a unique, shared experience, , NCS helps them to become better individuals, and in turn better citizens.

NCS is open to 16 and 17 year olds across England and Northern Island and is a two to four week programme, taking place during the school holidays, which includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event. In short, it teaches our teens responsibility, builds strength of character, provides them with skills to take into the workplace, and most of all, it’s a whole lot of fun!

The scheme is hugely successful with almost 400,000 16 and 17 year olds having taken part since it first launched; 7,000,000 hours of community action and for every £1 spend, NCS’s summer programme delivered between £1.15 and £2.42 of benefits back to society.

The most surprising thing for me was that all of this, including food, accommodation and travel, costs just £50 and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Having recently forked out almost 20 times that amount for a school holiday for Lewis, I can’t get over just how affordable this is!!

The NCS is already set to welcome more than 100,000 teenagers to their programme this summer but great news, there are still places available! With Lewis only in year 9 he is not quite old enough yet, but for anyone with a child in year 11 I can’t recommend this enough. I know for Lewis, he would thrive on this programme and I imagine the changes that parents see in their teens, over one short Summer, are incredible!

For those who haven’t yet booked their holidays and are worried about this fitting in, you can still register your interest and the NCS will endeavour to get your teen a spot on a programme at a time that suits.

You can sign your 16 or 17 old up right now by visiting the NCS website

As a parent, I can’t think of anything I would rather my son be doing during his last Summer holiday before college than learning valuable skills, meeting incredible people and making memories to last a lifetime. Roll on 2020 when I will be first in the queue to sign Lewis up for this opportunity!!


** This is a collaborative post with NCS ** 



  1. April 18, 2018 / 6:24 am

    I love the idea of this, I will definitely be looking in to it once my teen is old enough.

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 8:58 am

      It’s fab isn’t it? And SO cheap! xx

  2. April 18, 2018 / 8:01 am

    I think NCS is the most amazing programme and I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. When I asked my husband and son they both knew about it though and JJ will definitely do it when he finishes year 11, it is something wonderful to look forward to. Mich x

    • Laura Dove
      April 18, 2018 / 8:57 am

      It’s great isn’t it? Lewis will really enjoy it too! xx

  3. April 18, 2018 / 11:14 am

    This is such a fantastic scheme and for the ages of 16 and 17 year old is perfect. At that age I had no idea what to do with my life and would have loved the opportunity to do this! Sim x

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:07 pm

      Me too! They will learn so much from it! xx

  4. April 18, 2018 / 6:10 pm

    this sounds like a great idea! Some really import life skills to learn, as well as lots of fun it looks like 🙂 x

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:04 pm

      Yes I agree, so much fun! xx

  5. April 18, 2018 / 8:27 pm

    What an amazing opportunity. I would’ve loved something like this when I was younger. I can see Lewis loving this when he is old enough x

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:03 pm

      Yep I think he would have the time of his life! I know I would have loved it too! xx

  6. April 18, 2018 / 9:00 pm

    This sounds amazing! Like a really fun summer camp but they are also learning lots of important skills. It would also be fab preperation for when they decide to leave home and/or go to uni.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:02 pm

      Yes definitely! It’s such a good idea! xx

  7. April 18, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    I’ve heard about NCS a lot recently, and it does sound really good! Great preparation for adult life, and gaining confidence – but WHAT A BARGAIN too!

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:01 pm

      Such a bargain! I can’t get over that! xx

  8. April 19, 2018 / 5:52 am

    Anything that teaches our teenagers to be responsible and supportive human beings is great program and NCS seems to fit the bill

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 11:00 pm

      I totally agree, it’s an amazing scheme! xx

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:54 pm

      Oh great! I hope you can sign him up! xx

  9. Jen Mellor
    April 19, 2018 / 9:10 pm

    This looks great and such good value. my son is only 12 but when he is older I will definitely be interested in this for him.

    • Laura Dove
      April 20, 2018 / 10:53 pm

      Yes I will be signing Lewis up that’s for sure! xx

  10. April 20, 2018 / 10:13 am

    I have heard of NCS before, it’s such an amazing opportunity for young people. I hope it’s still running when my kids are old enough x

  11. April 21, 2018 / 11:11 am

    What an amazing program with great value. This is the first I am hearing of it and will share with a friend in England who has a 12 year old.

    • Laura Dove
      April 22, 2018 / 8:11 pm

      Ooh fab! Im sure they will love it in a few years time! xx

  12. April 22, 2018 / 5:53 am

    NCS sounds absolutely brilliant, what an amazing initiative! I’ve earmarked it for my oldest in a couple of years!

    • Laura Dove
      April 22, 2018 / 8:07 pm

      I so wish they’d had that when we were that age! xx

  13. April 23, 2018 / 9:24 pm

    This looks great for young people. I wish they had this when I was at school I would have loved it!

    • Laura Dove
      April 27, 2018 / 10:46 pm

      Me too! Wouldn’t that have been fun! xx

  14. April 24, 2018 / 7:51 pm

    This sounds absolutely amazing! I would have loved to do something like this. Although its a while until the boys are 16 I really hope its still going as I would love to get them involved. What valuable life skills! x

    • Laura Dove
      April 27, 2018 / 10:38 pm

      I would have loved it too! So much fun! xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *