14 students from Bethany School in Tunbridge Wells in Years 11 and 12 will take part in NCS this summer. Delivered in the Tunbridge Wells area by local provider Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) on behalf of CXK, the NCS programme is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 15-17 year olds to make a lasting mark in their local communities, whilst learning first-hand the skills that employers are really looking for. Taking place throughout the summer holidays, the programme will offer Bethany’s young people the opportunity to try their hand at a range of activities, from rock climbing to raft building to developing confidence, business, social and team-working skills.
As part of the programme, the young people will go on to examine their local community to identify aspects requiring improvement, and will use their findings to plan and execute a social action project to benefit a local charity or cause.
Bethany School’s leadership team aims for the programme to become an integral part of school life for its Year 11 and 12 students, as part of its wider plan to encourage them to volunteer more and give back to the local community as well as building valuable skills that can be outlined in UCAS statements or their CV for future employment. The programme this summer will see Bethany students dedicate a minimum of 420 hours of volunteering, whilst raising much-needed awareness and donations for local charities.
Deputy Head, Steve Winter, commented: “Bethany School has been delighted with its association with Charlton Athletic Community Trust and the NCS Programme. The visible successes of our students who participated last year have resulted in an excellent number committing to this year’s programme."
“We firmly believe that the opportunity for our young people to work with and for others fits with our ethos and aim to educate children for a changing world, the range of social and leadership skills that pupils gain in such a short space of time is unparalleled and it all starts with ‘YES!'"
NCS graduate and ambassador, Alistair Lawton, who conducted an NCS-themed assembly for Bethany students, said: “I was amazed at the amount of response we got from people signing up. I wanted to introduce the scheme to more people after I had been on it myself and wanted them to have the same experience. I’m glad to be with NCS on the Ambassador team and to continue helping them after the programme.”
Andy Carpenter, Head of Social Action and Enterprise at Charlton Athletic Community Trust, commented: “NCS promotes positive outcomes for young people. It enables them to develop commitment, leadership, resilience, determination, and a whole host of other skills that will serve them well in life to come.
“NCS is designed to bring young people together from a range of backgrounds, and is proven to have a massive impact on young people’s lives; UCAS recommends students include NCS in their personal statement, and almost three quarters (72%) of NCS graduates feel more confident about getting a job after doing NCS.”
The National Citizen Service is the fastest growing youth movement since the Scouts, with more than 300,000 young people nationwide already having completed the programme, and 5 million hours of voluntary action having been donated through the programme to date.