National Citizenship Service Team Blog 

Posted on: 03/07/2014

NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to all 15 to 17 year olds across England. A unique three to four week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, including 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. On this government-backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, take on new challenges and adventures, make new friends, learn new skills and contribute to their community.

19 students from Great Torrington School are getting stuck in this summer. Here's what some of them had to say: 
In the first week our team lived together at an outdoor activity centre, getting to know each other and experiencing the freedom of being away from home with our new friends. 

Monday morning we jumped on the bus and started the journey to Weymouth - feeling a little nervous, but keen to get stuck in! After a long, HOT bus journey we finally arrived at Weymouth! When we first got there we did loads of team building games on the beach and got settled in to our campsite. This was a great way to cool down and get to know each other after a day of heat and travelling.

We were up early the next day and straight into the water! Our first activity was sailing which was something a lot of us had never done before and even those that had seemed to really enjoy it. In the afternoon we had two more activities in the water which were paddle boarding and kayaking which were a lot of fun in the beautiful Weymouth surroundings. Chloe Higgins said "NCS is an amazing experience that has let me do things that I would never have done, such as paddle boarding.  Also NCS has given me the opportunity to make new friends".

After another night sleeping in our tents, our activity in the morning was a group bike ride which was awesome, the track through the forest and beauty spots really woke us up in the morning! After the bike ride we were back in the water and building rafts out of ropes and big container floats, this was really challenging and really got the team thinking and working together - they even floated! 

"NCS has helped me gain a lot more confidence and I have met a lot more friends.  Also I have challenged myself by pushing myself over the barrier I had set myself to begin with" said Nikita Bawden.

Each day we talk about the challenges and what we have learned about ourselves, as Thursday's weather was bad we spent the day inside working together and talking about our 'champagne moments' our blunders and bloopers. We share these in Team Time and talk about what we are learning. Friday saw us return home - we didn't want to leave!

"People of all abilities get the opportunity to achieve goals and participate in activities that they thought they could never push themselves to do" said JoJo Charman, whilst Hollie Sheehan says "NCS has already helped me meet some nice people and it has also helped me gain some valuable lessons about life and how to live independently".

All the team are growing in confidence and we are becoming more and more like a happy family. From the very start NCS has been an awesome experience, meeting new people, hanging out, taking part in the most radical activities. Week 1 has been a blast!

Bring on Week 2. We can't wait!

Editor notes: 

- This story comes from a team of 16 and 17 year olds who've just started their first week of the NCS summer programme and set off on a 5 day residential trip to Weymouth. 

- National Citizen Service has programmes running this Summer, which 16 and 17 year olds can sign up to and discover their talents, meet new people, build skills for work and life and contribute to their communities. 

- As well as 2 separate residential weeks away from home, NCS teams will spend time in their own communities finding the issues that they're passionate about and delivering a project to make a real difference to the area around them. 

- The local NCS provider in North Devon is Petroc, who will be working with over 170 young people from a variety of schools and backgrounds over the summer. 

- The next programme starts in late July so there is still time to get signed up. 


To find out more about NCS, email or call 01271 852429


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