National Citizen Service helps to build a compassionate society

The National Citizen Service (NCS) has been hailed as the largest new youth movement to hit England and Northern Ireland since the Scouts. Inspira has the privilege of managing this contract in Cumbria and Lancashire, and Dave Todd, Contract Manager at Inspira, tells us all about the programme.

The National Citizen Service is a Government-backed, national programme managed and delivered by Inspira in Cumbria and Lancashire.

The programme was established in 2011 to tackle three key social issues; social cohesion, social engagement, and social mobility. Nationally, 200,000 young people have benefited from taking part in NCS so far.

The programme is available to 15 to 17 year-olds in spring, summer and autumn. The bulk of our young people from Cumbria and Lancashire take part in summer when they have finished Year 11 and their GSCEs. This summer we have around 3,500 young people heading out on the four-week programme.

It’s a chance for young people to come together and learn invaluable skills for the future. Week one involves team building and leadership skills in an outdoor activity setting, week two is the chance to live independently – discovering themselves and their strengths and weaknesses, while week three and four are about understanding their local community - getting involved and putting a social action plan together for a good cause such as the homeless or a care home - leaving a lasting legacy.

The young people are in socially and gender mixed teams of 12 and six teams at a time work together meaning there are 72 people at a time working on a project. It can be life changing for some and for others it can have a significant impact that they may not realise until years later.

NCS is life changing for these young people and extremely rewarding for staff, partners and the organisations who get involved to support them throughout the programme.

For more information about NCS and to register your interest in helping us deliver new workshops/sessions or have a social action project you think might benefit the young people taking part in NCS please click here.