What is NCS?
NCS is a programme for 16 and 17 year olds that helps you learn skills for life and work. The programme is made up of three parts that help you develop your leadership, teamwork and communication skills. It’s a great way to boost your CV, build your confidence and meet new people – all whilst having an amazing time during the school holidays!
Why should I do NCS?
Well, firstly – and most importantly – because NCS is great fun!
– Meet new people and make life-long friends.
– Get a killer CV.
– Build your employability, teamwork, leadership and communication skills.
– Try something new – challenge yourself!
– Build your confidence.
– Make a real difference in your local community.
– Graduate with a certificate signed by the Prime Minister.
– Get access to a whole host of opportunities with partners such as Sky, Mozilla, Carillion and ICS.
There’s so many reasons why you’ll want to get involved – far too many to list here! Check out our facebook page to see what other people thought.
Is there a deadline to sign up?
Places do go fast so we recommend you sign up as soon as possible to make sure you don’t miss out. Places are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
When is it?
NCS runs during the school holidays – places are available during the summer holidays or October half term. If you’ve got a summer holiday planned, make sure you choose a date that fits around it.
How do I sign up?
Sign up right here or call our team on 0121 386 6910. Don’t forget, you’ll need to pay your fee when you sign up to confirm your place.
Will I make friends?
Yes! NCS is all about working as a team and getting to know new people. Everyone else will be in the same situation – keen to make sure they make friends too! If you’re really worried, get a friend to sign up with you and we’ll do our best to put you in the same team.
How much does it cost?
NCS is backed by the government, so the programme only costs you a maximum of £50. It actually costs the government more than £1,400 per person, so you know you’re getting great value! This fee includes all your accommodation, food and equipment during the residential phases of the programme.
You pay this when you sign up to confirm your place on the programme. If you’re struggling to pay, call us on 0121 386 6910 to find out about available support.
Do I have to complete the full programme?
Yes – all parts of the programme must be completed in order to graduate. If you need to miss a day, let us know when you sign up.
Don’t worry about collecting your GCSE or A-Level results, or attending prom – everyone else is in the same boat! You’ll get the morning/afternoon off for this if necessary.
Do I get to meet my team before we go?
Where do we stay for the outdoor activities bit?
We’ve got some great outdoor activity centres, where you’ll stay with your team during the day and overnight in shared dormitories. If you do NCS during the summer, you might even be camping! We’ve taken people to some beautiful locations – the Peak District, Lake District, Staffordshire Moorlands, South Downs, Northumberland…. the list goes on!
During the summer programme you’ll also spend the skills-building stage away from home at one of our great residential venues a little closer to home.
How will I get there?
Your transport to and from our residential venues is included in your sign up fee. You’ll need to make you own way to and from NCS for any non-residential venues and during your community project.
Do I need to bring food and drink?
During the residential stage/s, your food and drink will be provided for you as part of the programme. Make sure you let us know about any special dietary requirements or allergies you might have. You’ll need to bring a packed lunch with you when you’re out and about on your community project.
I’ve got a disability/medical condition – can I take part?
Our staff are trained to support a wide range of different needs – just let us know about your situation on your sign up form or give us a call on 0121 386 6910.
What are the NCS team leaders and mentors like?
Most importantly, we’re very friendly! We’ll help you make the most of NCS so that everyone has an amazing time. And don’t worry – all our outdoor activities are run by qualified instructors – you’re in safe hands!
“When I went home after the programme, I felt lost. My team had made it so much fun. We felt like a family. I missed them all on the two days off and couldn’t wait to get back.” Will Thompson (team leader)
Can I bring my friends?
What’s the community project all about?
As long as your project helps your local community or environment, it can be anything you like! In the past, teams have done sponsored skateboards, redecorated nurseries and community centres, organised charity gigs, replanted gardens, set up youth groups, and fundraised for charity. Your team leader will help you come up with a plan and then carry it out.
I’m doing the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award – can I count the NCS residential towards it?
If you do the summer NCS programme, the first week doing outdoor activities can qualify for the residential section of your Gold DofE Award.
Will NCS help me get in to uni or get a job?
Absolutely – NCS looks great on your CV! NCS is recognised on your UCAS form in the personal statement section and shows unis, colleges and employers that you’ve got the teamwork and leadership skills they’re looking for.
I'm on a reserve list - what does this mean?
When your chosen date is fully booked we’ll add you to the reserve list for that date and as soon as a place becomes available we’ll let you know. Places become available fairly frequently as people book holiday dates, drop out for illness etc, so we’ll send you out all the information you need to take part in the same way we would with anyone else.
As places become available, we’ll offer them to people who we know are keen to go on NCS – so by attending our info evenings and keep warm events and keeping in touch with us, you’re letting us know you’re still keen to go – we don’t want to offer a place to someone who doesn’t really want it when there are others out there who do!
If you’re on the reserve list and a place hasn’t become available, you’ll be invited to turn up on departure day with your bags – if you don’t want to turn up on departure day we’ll issue you a full refund and guarantee you a free place on a future season. If you do turn up to departure (but don’t get to go on programme), you’ll also get a £50 Amazon voucher for turning up to departure.
I've done NCS already - can I take part again?
Sorry – NCS is something you can only do once! However, we’re always looking for NCS grads to help on programme, either as a paid team mentor or leader (18+) or as a volunteer.
The best way to find out about opportunities to stay involved with NCS, or to work on programme is to get in touch with our Grad Mangers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’ve got any other questions we haven’t answered here, give us a call on 0121 386 6910 and speak to one of our friendly team.
Our opening hours are: 9am-8pm (Mon-Fri)
To make a formal complaint, please contact us on email@example.com