Dorset Youth Association was a lead provider for a FREE pilot government initiative called the National Citizens Service (NCS), this programme worked with 48 16 and 17 years old young people over a summer period. The programme was being delivered by Dorset Youth Association as part of NCS South West consortium which was funded by the Cabinet Office. We also worked with other partners such as PGL to deliver the outdoor activities part of the programme.

 

It gave these young people the opportunity to take on new challenges, learn new skills and make a difference in their communities. Young people from very different backgrounds were brought together into a team, with a common objective, to achieve something of which they could all be proud of. The project ran for three weeks full-time, including two weeks away from home. After that, there was another 30 hours on a part-time basis. Working in a team, they had the chance to take part in exciting outdoor activities like mountaineering, canoeing and abseiling. They also got the opportunity to design and deliver their own project in the local community. This meant working with other young people to improve the area where they live, benefiting everyone who lives there. . One of the main aims of NCS was to bring together young people from the widest possible backgrounds.

 

The first week was an out of county residential outdoor course aimed at developing new skills, team working, confidence and self-esteem. During the second week a Dorset based self-catering residential introduced many different aspects of the local communities and involved learning about planning, budgeting and leadership. The third week was home based, developing and planning for the final community project. The final two weeks there were involved with a community project of the young people’s choice giving them an opportunity to improve their local area for the benefit.

 

Dorset Youth Association held a celebration evening where Oliver Letwin MP presented the young people their awards and certificates of achievement. The evening was also attended by Annette Brookes MP and Cllr Toni Coombes (DCC Cabinet Member for Children’s Services).