Thousands of Oxfordshire teens to benefit from citizen scheme

The council has agreed a new contract to deliver the National Citizen Service (NCS) in Oxfordshire up to the end of 2018.

The scheme, which is funded by central government, provides a unique opportunity for 16 to 17-year-olds to take part in social action projects, learn new skills and gain confidence engaging with their communities.

Previous work

The council has previously been highlighted nationally for its NCS work, with young people putting in thousands of voluntary hours planning and delivering projects to benefit local communities and charities in Oxfordshire. Participants have organised activities including summer fetes, car washes, band nights and sponsored walks.

More than 600 young people in Oxfordshire are expected to have completed the scheme by the end of 2015, with a total of 5,073 places available across the four-year contract period up to 2018.

Applications are now being sought through schools and colleges, as well as through council services, for the Autumn 2015 programme.

Fantastic opportunity

The council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Education and Families Melinda Tilley said: “The NCS provides a fantastic opportunity for young people making the transition from compulsory education. It enables them to take on new challenges and learn new skills, as well as benefitting the wider community.

“For many young people the NCS programme is a real confidence-booster and provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to make new friends and discover talents they never knew they had. As a nationally-recognised scheme it’s also a valuable addition to any CV.”

The full NCS programme includes:

  • Learning new skills by taking part in workshops run by local businesses and organisations
  • ‘Social action’ projects – in which the young people make a difference to their local community by creating projects they are passionate about.
  • Outdoor activities and team building exercises
  • Graduation – all young people completing the course receive a nationally-recognised certificate as they celebrate with friends and family and are encouraged to continue their social action work as ‘graduates’