National Citizen Service (NCS) has awarded Bronze Partner College status to Newcastle College, thanks to its great commitment to working alongside NCS and delivering the programme as part of our curriculum.
Newcastle College is one of just two North East colleges to be awarded NCS Partner status and works with NCS to deliver specialised models of the programme which complement existing course curriculum and sees students build additional skills, meet new people and give back to the local community.
The NCS programme supports young people’s transition to adulthood by developing their strength of character and life-skills which enable them to contribute to society with a greater sense of purpose, optimism and belonging. Open to all young people aged 16-17 across England and Northern Ireland, the programme includes outdoor team-building exercises, a residential for participants to learn ‘life skills’, a community-based social action project and an end of programme celebration event.
Lisa Hamilton-Murray, Assistant Principal at Newcastle College, said: “Newcastle College has been a fond supporter of NCS since the programme launched. New students who arrive at the College having completed NCS in the summer holidays prior are confident, motivated and well-connected with other learners. The experience and wellbeing of our students is so important to us and we’ve now added NCS into the curriculum of some of our courses to offer those benefits to more of our students. I’m incredibly proud to be awarded Bronze NCS Partner College status and look forward to seeing even more of our students taking part.”
Denise Halpern, Head of Operations for the vEducation and National Youth Agency Partnership that delivers NCS in the North East, added: “Newcastle College is one of only two colleges in the North East to receive NCS Partner status – and I’m delighted for them as they’ve really embraced the ethos of the programme and have this year grown their commitment to NCS by expanding the number of curriculum areas where NCS is offered to their students. We get fantastic feedback from students about the NCS programme and how they’ve been able to learn new skills, which complement their college study, and give back to the local community.”
Last autumn, as well as taking on exciting outward bound activities in the Scottish borders developing new life skills on campus with NCS local delivery partner Newcastle United Foundation, students designed and delivered social action projects in teams of 15. These included a team who raised money for a local amputee football team by organising a charity game streamed live on social media, projects focusing on mental health and bridging the generational gap at local care homes.
Newcastle College Uniformed Public Services student and NCS graduate Lucy Ames, said: “Other commitments meant that I couldn’t take part in NCS in the summer after year 11, so it was perfect that I could do it with College. It was the best experience – I feel more confident and I made new friends.
“For our social action project, my team created a video highlighting mental health, which we could all relate to and is an important issue for young people. After completing NCS I felt a real sense of achievement.”
Fellow Uniformed Public Services student and NCS graduate Jacob Goulding, added: “From the moment we all started to work together to complete challenges during the outdoor adventure phase of NCS, we became a team. I’ve been able to develop my communication, teamwork and leadership skills which are useful for my college course and future career. As an NCS graduate I get sent regular information about staying involved and so far I’ve continued volunteering with Newcastle United Foundation.”
NCS is making a positive contribution towards developing the country’s future talent and is proven to increase confidence, communication and leadership abilities. University participation rates for those who take part in NCS was on average 12% higher than those who didn't take part*.
Izzi Dorrian, Head of Education engagement at the NCS Trust, commented: “Through working closely with colleges across the UK, we are able to ensure more young people have the opportunity to be aware of the amazing benefits which come with participating in the programme. This collaboration is helping us to ensure the programme is embedded in local communities and reminds us exactly how the programme is helping change the futures of thousands of young people each year.”
Young people currently in Year 11 and 12 can sign up to participate in NCS next summer at www.ncsyes.co.uk or by calling 0191 247 4020.