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Last updated:
22 February 2018

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National Citizen Service (NCS)

If you're 16 or 17, you can sign up to take on new challenges which will build your skills and confidence.

1 What is the NCS?

The National Citizen Service (NCS) is an essential experience for 16-17 year olds, providing an opportunity to build skills for work and life while taking on new challenges. 

It will help you build your confidence, mix with different social groups and contribute to your community. You will have the chance to make new friends, go on residential trips and create a Social Action Project so you can make a difference in your local area.

Programmes take place outside of school/college hours and have been specifically designed to develop skills that employers and UCAS value.

Find your nearest National Citizen Service (NCS) location. (external link)

Additional information

2 Benefits of taking part

  • New adventures, new friendships and new challenges.
  • Develop skills you didn’t realise you had.
  • Expand your CV - learn skills and qualities that employers are increasingly looking for, such as confidence, teamwork and leadership.
  • NCS is recognised by UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) and will help when applying for universities.
  • It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to fast track your future.
  • NCS is about you getting motivated and inspired, and having fun.

3 Who can apply

The programme is for 16-17 year olds, including Year 11s turning 16 during the summer.

Young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are eligible until the age of 25. Please contact us about your learning needs, accessibility and support.

Whether you’re home schooled, at boarding, private or state school or currently not in education or employment, NCS will benefit you.

If you are over 21 and interested in working or volunteering to support our 4-week programme, contact us expressing your interest.

4 NCS programmes

Programmes are available in the Midhurst, Arun and Chichester areas of West Sussex during the summer and autumn of 2017.

Summer 2017

Our Summer NCS runs for four weeks during the summer holidays.

  • Weeks 1 and 2 - Residential, Monday-Friday, firstly at Adventure Activities on the Isle of Wight (including activities such as coasteering, mountain boarding and archery) and then at the University of Chichester (skills building).
  • Weeks 3 and 4 - Social Action, based daily within the local community. 

Summer 2017 dates:

  • Option 1: Monday 3 July - Friday 28 July
  • Option 2: Monday 17 July - Friday 11 August

Autumn 2017 NCS

These condensed programmes are run during half term, which suits those who cannot commit to four full weeks. The first weekend is the Adventure residential, held Friday-Monday at Adventure Activities, then Tuesday-Friday is based daily in the local community (skills building). Your team then has a month to create their project, using social media or meeting at weekends and evenings.

Autumn 2017 dates:

  • Adventure residential - 20 to 23 October
  • Skills development - 24 to 27 October
  • Social action (30 hours) - during November

Social Action in West Sussex

The social action project is entirely up to you. Your team leaders will suggest local organisations, charities or events for you to get involved in, but we encourage teams to choose something they are interested in or passionate about.

5 Graduation

Since  National Citizen Service (NCS) began in 2013, hundreds of young people have graduated, becoming part of a national movement of active citizens.

When you complete NCS we celebrate together with a Graduation Evening, but that isn't the end of your NCS journey! We hope you’ll be motivated and inspired to continue engaging as part of a local and global community.

Future opportunities

We regularly post about volunteering, training and careers on our Graduate Facebook group, as well as exclusive opportunities on your NCS account. As a graduate, you will have the chance to extend your experiences by helping out at assemblies, creating marketing videos and even becoming a ‘Crew’ member in future programmes.

6 How much does it cost?

NCS would cost over £1,000 for each place, but, due to government backing, we are able to offer the programme for a small fee of £50.00. This covers food, accommodation and travel on your residential trips. Nobody is excluded from NCS and you can speak to our team about available bursaries.

7 Sign up

Sign up online, quoting ‘West Sussex County Council’ as your local provider.

Find more information on the NCS programme or to sign up online (external link)

Once signed up, your place will be secured when payment is received. You will receive a confirmation email and an introduction pack will be posted to you with all the programme details.

Our local team will be in regular contact with you and you can also keep up to date via our social media feeds.

8 Contact us

For more information, please visit the National Citizen Service website.

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