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Scouts National Citizen’s Service Pilot

9 December 2019

2020 will see Durham Scouts taking part in a Scout led National Citizen's Service (NCS) pilot programme, with a great opportunity for our Explorer Scouts to take part in a fantastic NCS programme.

The NCS pilot programme for the North East (piloting with Durham and Northumberland) will run from the 7th August- 16th August 2020 at Great Tower in the Lake District. The programme is for 16 & 17 year olds (or those who are 15, but turn 16 before or on the 31st August 2020). It will be followed by the Social Action phase running locally from the 19th-22nd August 2020.

The programme is aimed at Scouts and non-Scouts and will be run with Scouting values and the Scout method at the forefront, but following all of the core components of an NCS programme.

During the ten days at Great Tower, young people will have an under canvas adventure with activities to challenge them. They will take part in a number of outdoor adventurous activities and team building sessions throughout the ten days in the Lake District.

They will also spend time developing some really practical life skills, e.g. learning about budgeting and bank accounts, basic first aid, how to vote, thinking about jobs and how to cook a healthy meal.

Throughout their NCS experience, we will also be exploring the topic of community impact - how to make a difference and do good in your local community. The planning and learning undertaken during the ten days will then be put into practice locally on return. For this part of the programme, the young people attending will be split into groups dependant on their locality and will undertake a community project, supported by their Team Leaders.

In order to make this part of the programme as high impact as possible, once we have a clearer idea on where young people will be coming from, we may likely reach out to Districts to find out if there are any current projects or projects that Districts and Units would like to do in the community that could be potential projects for the Scout NCS pilot to get involved with.  We really want to focus here on the sustainability and impact of projects, as well as keeping the programme youth shaped and relevant.

As well as an adventurous and action packed programme, there will be lots of opportunities for reflection built in - on what young people are learning, as well as starting to think about what future opportunities there are that they might like to get involved with (both inside and outside of Scouting). Not only will they have a great time and make lots of new friends, but the skills they develop will be helpful to everyday life and their experience as pioneers will look great on their CV.

The programme is government subsidised. The cost to a young person is £50 to take part - that includes travel, accommodation, food and all activities (we will have a couple of pick up points in each County).  Money should never be a barrier for young people wishing to do the programme and if you know Explorer Scouts (or anyone 16 - 17) that you think would really benefit from the opportunity, but may have a financial barrier, please get in touch. NCS have a bursary scheme which is 100% confidential and we can see what we can do to provide support.

We have now recruited a Delivery Officer, whose role will be to lead the recruitment of young people in Durham and Northumberland onto the programme. Once he starts the role in January, he will be in touch with Explorer Units to ask about coming to visit and talk to your young people in the New Year.

If you'd like anymore information about the pilot, or have any ideas that you think might be helpful for us during the design and recruitment phase, please do get in touch. You can email us at ncs@scouts.org.uk and we will get back to you.

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