The Prime Minister will today personally head up a new search for pioneering teenagers to sign up for National Citizen Service in 2011.
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a key part of the Government’s efforts to build a bigger, stronger society.
The two month programme will mix sixteen year olds from a variety of backgrounds, and will include a two week stay away from home. It will give 16 year olds a challenge - and help them to help their communities.
The first two weeks of the programme will take young people away from home and involve tough physical activities that will boost their confidence and build their teamwork and leadership skills. They will then return home and spend a further five weeks working in teams to develop a project that will help to change something they don’t like about their communities.
Starting in July, after exams have finished, 12 NCS pilot programmes will take place across the country with a total of 11,000 spaces up for grabs.
Some of the projects have already started accepting registrations. More than 8,000 people have so far expressed an interest, with 1,000 people already signed up.
All 12 pilots are now open to teenagers who have just turned or are about to turn 16 - and who would normally have completed year 11 at school.
Those who complete the programme will celebrate their achievements with families and friends at NCS graduation ceremonies, which they will help to plan.
Launching a new Facebook page, with details of NCS, the PM made a direct appeal to teenagers to sign up, saying:
Welcome to the new National Citizen Service Facebook page.
I want National Citizen Service to inspire you to realise what you can achieve. This summer you will be able to spend two months mixing with other young people, learning new skills, and putting something back into your community.
NCS will be available to 11,000 people in 2011 and 30,000 in 2012. Over time I want all sixteen year olds to be able to take part.
Thanks for visiting the NCS page - and don’t forget to register to take part.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, added:
Eventually we want all of the 600,000 or so 16 year olds in the country to do National Citizen Service. It is different from existing volunteer programmes providing a shared experience for each generation that teaches them about the power they have as citizens to build the society they want to live in.
From 2013, some NCS alumni will have the opportunity to take part in International Citizen Service (ICS), a new programme giving 18-22 year olds the opportunity to travel to developing countries to join the fight against poverty.
1,250 people will be taking part in ICS from this summer and the Department for International Development will shortly be announcing more details about the international development organisations that will be delivering the pilots and how to apply.
At www.facebook.com/ncs young people will be able to find out more about the programme, including where the pilots will be happening.
The 12 pilots are:
- Bolton Lads and Girls Club - providing 270 places in Bolton
- Catch 22 - leading a national consortium providing 1,515 places
- Connexions Cumbria Ltd - providing 492 places across Cumbria
- Field Studies Council - working with Rotary International in Great Britain & Ireland (RIBI) and Action for Blind People providing 540 places in Bradford, Hull, North East Lincolnshire, Tower Hamlets and Manchester
- Football League (Community) Ltd - working with the club trusts of: AFC Bournemouth; Barnsley; Charlton Athletic; Leyton Orient; Milton Keynes Dons; Plymouth Argyle; Rotherham United; Sheffield Wednesday; and other local and national providers, providing 800 places in those areas
- Lincolnshire and Rutland Education Business Partnership - providing 120 places in Lincolnshire
- Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (formerly known as Football in the Community) - working with a range of local partners in the Norfolk NCS Consortium to deliver 490 places across Norfolk
- Safe in Tees Valley - working with a range of local partners to provide 1,000 places in Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar & Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees
- The Challenge Network -providing 3240 places in London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester
- The Prince’s Trust - working with local partners to provide 885 places in a range of locations
- V - The National Young Volunteers’ Service - working with The Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and local partners to deliver 1,065 places in a range of locations
- Young Devon and South West Consortium - providing 900 places across the South