If you're heading into your final year of school, you're about to head into a very busy year of decisions, exams and hard work, so you're going to want a summer you can make the most of.
So do you fancy four weeks of challenges, socialising, fun activities and new experiences this summer? Sign up for Preston North End's National Citizen Service Summer Programme and enjoy time away from home with residential activities, social action projects and much, much more.
But rather than us tell you how great NCS is, we've left that to the participants of the 2018 summer programme who explain in detail what NCS is, and what it can do for you.
One participant, Bebe said: “You do all of the adventure activities that you don’t necessarily get the chance to do on a normal basis,” said Bebe on week one of the programme which sees our young people spend five days away from home at an outward bound residential activites such as abseiling, rock climbing and much more as Beb went on to explain.
“I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Like I say you’re doing things that you don’t usually get chance to do on a normal basis and meet new people and improve your social skills and make new friends that you can talk to outside of NCS.”
Another participant, Hussain added: “The first week has been extremely enticing. The activities we did do were really enjoyable and it was nice to be able to share a room with your friends from different groups and being able to meet people from different backgrounds and different areas.”
So once the participants got to know each other, worked as a team to overcome challenges, and face their fears right in the face, week two gave students the chance to live more independently in a University setting at the University of Cumbria. Here participants stayed in halls and enjoyed a series of workshops and activities as Bebe went on to explain.
“I really enjoyed being on a campus and experiencing what it’s like to be at Uni,” he continued.
“Not everybody will go to University but it’s good to experience it. We lived on campus for a week and met other people who are doing NCS and overcame various challenges.”
For the third week, the group put what the challenges they’d faced and the barriers they’d overcome to good use for the planning and delivery of their social action project, this time at Deepdale.
The group enjoyed several talks such as a workshop with North West Ambulance in-between pin-pointing the needs of their local community as the young people were tasked with the objective of a social action project in their community.
It took a lot of thought, a lot of planning and a lot of discussion, but in the end the ensemble split into two groups to create two different social action projects.
Whilst one team looked to raise money for mental health charity Lancashire Mind, the other looked to acquire funds for Rock FM’s charity Cash for Kids, but up next on the agenda was how they were going to raise that money for two very important causes in the area.
On the back of two weeks of activities which helped raise their confidence and communication skills, the team would look to raise money in an innovative and engaging way.
Whilst the first group went out selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts for Lancashire Mind in the city centre after the company agreed to help the action project, the other team rehearsed and performed a mass dance number at the flag market of Preston City Centre.
But as well as raising money for valuable causes, the teenagers can take home with them an experience of a lifetime and important life skills as one participant, Paul went on to explain:
“It’s been a real eye opener and I didn’t think it was going to be this good,” said Paul after the completion of the programme. “I’ve really grown in confidence; when you get on the programme, it’s not awkward, it’s not boring it’s just having fun.
“Sometimes I may judge people with how they act but I’ve learnt to talk to people before you judge them.”
Hussain echoed Paul’s words adding: “Some people from the outside may look to appear quite intimidating but when you do get to know them they are lovely people.
Don’t be scared and jump right into it! It’s extremely enjoyable and you will enjoy it. If you don’t have any friends on NCS then you’ll soon make some almost immediately.
It’s made me more brave and forget about what other people think - just do it. Don’t be scared, just be you and jump right in.”
Now that the programme is over, these group of participants have been able to take with them a recognised certificate and four weeks of fantastic experiences and memories that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their life.
If you'd like to register an interest in the NCS programme at PNE, or for more information, click here.