SCHOOL leavers will have the chance to dramatically boost their future prospects over the summer as part of a groundbreaking new programme.
National Citizen Service (NCS) is a flagship Government initiative which is being delivered here by partner Safe in Tees Valley.
It is looking for 16-year-olds and/or Year 11 school leavers to take advantage of the scheme, now in its second pilot year, which could hugely improve the life and career skills of participants as well as allowing them to make new friends.
While hundreds of places have already been filled, there is still room for a few hundred more people to join the FREE programme that takes place over the summer.
Participants are being urged to put their names forward quickly, though, with the remaining places fast being taken up.
NCS aims to promote a more cohesive, responsible and engaged society by bringing young people from different backgrounds together to make a difference in their communities.
It is a voluntary programme for 16-year-olds which focuses on their personal and social development which includes challenging activities, from away-from-home residential experiences to a self-designed social action project.
Although the entire programme is designed to be an enjoyable summer experience, it is also aimed at empowering teenagers with greater self-confidence, pride and purpose.
Parents whose children took part in the pilot scheme last year have seen for themselves the positive impact that the course has had on them.
Claire Martin’s daughter Kirsten, from Park End, was one of the first graduates. She said: “Kirsten loved the programme – it made her so much more confident as she was able to interact with lots of people and learned to work as part of a group. I would definitely encourage other parents to get their children involved.”
Tom Smith, 15, from Hemlington, also joined the course last year. His aunt, Grace Khurana, noticed a complete change in him at the end of the programme.
She said: “Tom absolutely loved the programme last year – so much so that he now plans to serve as a mentor on this summer’s programme. .”
The programme starts in June, with activities and events continuing until August, culminating in a graduation celebration.