What does NCS involve?
Working in teams of new friends, your teen will experience a wealth of exciting new challenges and experiences. These have been designed to provide them with life skills that are invaluable to their future. The NCS info below is designed to answer any questions you may have.
In the first stage of NCS, your son/daughter will live away from home in an outdoor activity centre in teams of 12 to 15 young people. They’ll experience a wide range of team-building outdoor activities, including:
- High & Low Ropes,
- Zip wires
In the second stage, they’ll be closer to home (Summer project only, at a local residential). Here they will have the opportunity to work with local businesses, meet MPs and community leaders, learn media/presenting skills, journalism, project planning, budgeting and other important life skills.
Finally, your teen returns home, but continues to work with their team to give something back to their community. They do this through the creation and delivery of a community social action project.
Safety Health and Well-being
As a company we are full committed to the safety, health and week-being or all the young people who come on our programmes. We need to be sure that we have as much relevant detail as possible about your child before we take them on the programme. You will need to complete a Consent Form. Please complete the consent form carefully so we have clear information on medical and dietary need. We may follow through with a home visit to gather more information and will meet with you on our Taster Days to check and add to this information.
We aim to include every eligible young person on our programme regardless of need or disability. If your child has a specific need, disability or serious medical condition then usually we are able to accommodate them. We can arrange to access additional support from signers, carers etc to ensure meaningful and enjoyable participation. We will work with you to best meet the needs of your young person.
If your son/daughter is taking prescribed medication we will store it in a locked cabinet and give them access to it at the required times. They can only bring over the counter medication e.g. Paracetamol with your written permission - again we will lock this away and allow access as required. Our staff are not allowed to give out or purchase any over the counter medication for your son/daughter. In case of need or short supply we will contact you.
If your son/daughter uses an inhaler they will be responsible for managing it and must take it with them at all times, especially whenever they go offsite for visits or activities. As they will be away for up to 5 days at a time they need to ensure they have enough medication in their inhalers with them so please check before departure.
If your child has a specific allergy then we can make the necessary provision as far as dietary requirements are concerned. If the allergy is connected with the environment we expect them to take reasonable precautions to manage their own risk. e.g. active avoidance, taking medication etc.
Staff at activity centres and our team leaders are first aid trained and can administer treatment via epipen if required. However, we will discuss this with you. Your child must be responsible for carrying their own epipen at all times and we will need you to provide us with an additional one.
The catering staff at our residential centres are extremely good at providing for diverse dietary needs. As long as we know in advance provision will be made, including religious observance.
Illness and Accident
If your child complains of feeling unwell during a residential we will inform you immediately. They will not be given any medication /treatment without your permission. If necessary, your child may need to be collected by you until they are better and can return. During an outdoor activities programme it is inevitable that young people may have a few minor bumps and scrapes. However, if first aid is required you will be informed once it has been administered. In the event of accident or emergency, you will be informed immediately once emergency services have been called to attend. The Operations Director will make and keep contact with you and make arrangements for you to attend or for your young person to come home if necessary.
All of our staff and the staff at our residential centres have enhanced DBS (CRB) clearance. It is their responsibility to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all young people on our programmes. Staff have completed safeguarding training and will aim to educate young people on our programmes to keep themselves and their colleagues safe. Young people will come into contact with visitors from a range of businesses and organisations. The majority of these people have DBS checks, however they will be accompanied by members of our staff throughout their visit. All journeys and activities are risk assessed and responsibilities are clearly defined in case of a change of plan, route or activity due to e.g. inclement weather. All outdoor leaders have appropriate training to complete with the AALA licensing for the approved outdoor activity centres.
All our staff are trained to ensure there is no opportunity for intruders to enter the premises we use for residential and day activities. The majority of the premises we use also have their own security systems and security staff.
Developing responsibility is part of the aim of our programme and this is important when it comes to looking after their own possessions. We advise young people to only bring what is essential and not to bring anything of value with them on any part of the programme. They will have complete responsibility for the care, whereabouts and security of their possessions. We will not be responsible for loss or damage.
Public and Employers Liability.
Throughout our programmes we foster a working relationship between ourselves and young people based on mutual respect. We want all young people to have fun and make the most of the opportunities we can offer and this relies on good behaviour. We abide by the national NCS Code of Conduct. Your son/daughter will be asked to sign a copy of this once they arrive at their away residential. If your young person infringes the code of conduct if a verbal warning does not suffice, we will contact you and we may ask them to be removed from one element of the programme. In extreme cases we will request their removal from the complete programme.
Transport and Travel
As we will be operating from several locations you will be informed of pick up points and times for programme departures. We provide transport from departure points to the residential centres and return. We provide transport to all activities and visits on the residential phases of the programme. Please ensure your child takes appropriate medication prior to departure if they are not good travellers. For the planning and social action phases of the programme, young people will need to make their own way to meeting points.
Who will be responsible for my teen ‘on the ground’?
The safety and well-being of participants is paramount. NCS is delivered across England and Northern Ireland by a network of experienced youth and community organisations including charities, college consortia, volunteering work, community, social enterprise (VCSE) and private sector partnerships. NCS staff are DBS checked (previously CRB) and have the appropriate training to work with young people. All the activities are comprehensively risk-assessed and overseen by carefully selected trained instructors and mentors and the programme is quality assured locally and nationally.
Will taking part in NCS interfere with my teen’s academic studies?
The NCS summer programme takes place in the summer holidays. Our shorter autumn and spring programmes can take place at any point during the autumn or spring half term holidays.
How do I get my teen involved?
Your teen can register their interest to participate by filling in a short expression of interest form at one of our school or college presentations or by ringing the NCS call centre on 0191 247 4020. Once registration is complete, we will send you more details on the project they have signed up for. If you need any more NCS info, please feel free to contact us.