NCS programme for young people

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Local environmental charity Groundwork South has won the contract to deliver the government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme across Horsham and Mid-Sussex.

NCS is a government-funded personal and social development programme aimed at 15 to 17 year olds to enable them to gain new skills for life and work, improve their confidence and resilience and take a more active role in their local community.

The 2015 October half term programme consists of three days at an outdoor PGL centre, where attendees are split into groups of 15 and take part in team building adventure activities such as abseiling, canoeing, rock climbing and Jacob’s Ladder.

The next three days are spent back home attending “life skills” workshops covering topics such as cookery, budgeting and independent living, as well as inspirational talks from high profile figures in the local community.

Residents will already be familiar with the work of Groundwork South, winners of the 2015 Brighton and Hove Business Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution To The Community’ and may have attended one of their NCS pop up information points and awareness raising events in cinemas, local shopping centres, parks and leisure centres, as well as outlets of Costa Coffee and Café Nero over the summer holidays.

Following the life skills workshops, the young people form groups and decide on a social action project, which will improve their local community or environment and are given full support and mentoring to achieve this. Previous projects have included refurbishing a skate park, staging a fashion show with clothes made from recycled materials and organizing a family fun day to raise money for a local cause.

At the end of the programme they receive a certificate signed by the Prime Minister to recognise their achievements. NCS is recognised by UCAS and is a great addition to CVs and job applications. It also offers the opportunity for young people to make new friends for life!

Groundwork South are currently visiting schools and colleges to recruit the final few participants for the October 2015 half term programme. The programme is fully inclusive, with young people from the region’s private, state and independent schools (as well as those not in full time education) coming together to achieve something spectacular and make a positive, lasting difference to their local community or environment. The programme is also open to young people with disabilities or special educational needs.

All 16-17 year olds who live in Mid Sussex or Horsham are eligible to attend this fantastic, once in a lifetime opportunity. To find out more they can phone Groundwork South on 01273 663171 or visit:

For further information please contact: Jonathan Endersby on 07718042294 or email:

Report contributed by Caraline Brown.