The College of West Anglia

NCS – Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

This amazing opportunity will only cost £50 - this includes two separate 4 night residential experiences, all food and activity costs. We have calculated that the true value of the experience is over £1000 per person, so we are asking for only a very small contribution. You will also need to arrange your own transport to and from the coach pick-up points.

How do we apply?

Register your interest using our online form and we will be in touch with further details. You will need to think carefully about your commitment and availability to being involved in this scheme and make sure you are available for the whole project. Parents may need to support to make this happen.

Who can apply?

The programme is open to anyone aged 16 or 17.

Why should we get involved?

This is a really amazing opportunity to be involved in a national scheme. There is a lot of competition at the moment for college and university places and also in the job market so this experience may help young people to offer something more. You will develop lifelong skills such as teamwork, communication, creativity, planning and organisation. You will meet people from different backgrounds to themselves and also from other parts of the country. It will be a good preparation for those young people who are thinking of going on to further training and education away from home.

What will we be doing?

You will work in teams of 15 young people from their local area to design and carry out a project to make a difference in your local area and community.

The first residential will be based at an Outdoor Education Centre and the second residential will take place in a venue, college or university venue.

The third week is a 4 or 5 day (non-residential) in a local venue close to home.

You will need to make sure you can commit to all three weeks and then further hours planning and volunteering, actually delivering your project. The total commitment is around 4 weeks. You will take part in a series of challenges and have input from lots of different people which will help them to develop their team working skills and self confidence. We are asking you to Step Out of your comfort zone, taking a risk, try something new and learn more about yourself and your team. We are also asking you to Step Up and Make a Difference to your local community. Those people who complete the programme will be invited to a graduation and celebration ceremony.

Can parents get involved?

There are opportunities for volunteers in the local area. Talk to us to find out more details, the commitment that would be required and how to apply.

Will the young people be safe?

Absolutely. All the tutors and volunteers will have received specific training for this project and they will all be checked through the Criminal Records Bureau. The Outdoor Education Centre where the first residential is taking place has an outstanding record for safety. Boys and girls will be housed on separate floors and supervised the whole time. We have strict rules around smoking (designated areas only), alcohol and drugs (zero tolerance policy).

These will be made very clear to the young people but those who choose to break the rules will be asked to leave the project.

The UFA and the Local Coordinators are all very experienced in running projects like this and we have clear policies and procedures which are shared with all involved.

When does it take place?

There are a number of different opportunities for you take part in NCS - see our latest dates here.

How long are the sessions?

The days will be quite full with activities in the evening as well as during the day. There will be some free time as well!

What will they need to wear and take to the residentials?

They will need casual and comfortable clothes. Any specialist equipment for outdoor activities will be provided. You will get a suggested kit list when your place is confirmed.

Will you take any photos?

Yes, we will take photos and video footage. We will get your permission for this before the start of the programme.

Do you have to attend all of it?

Yes. This is very important and we may need your parents’ support to make sure they can attend the whole scheme. If you have a part-time job or holidays booked you may need to negotiate time off or re-arrange when you start NCS.

You will be working in project reams and you will have responsibilities to keep within the team. The programme has been designed to give the you as much development as possible in a short space of time so if they miss anything you will possibly lose out on important information and experiences and also not have as much fun!

What if we can�t afford to pay?

We have set the cost at the lowest possible amount so that as many people as possible are able to access this programme. You may be able to talk to us about help with costs.

What if the young person has a disability, special or additional needs?

That's not a problem at all. Tell us about it on the application form so that we can provide additional support if necessary and make sure the activities and venues are suitable for everyone.

What about dietary needs?

Any dietary need can be catered for as long as you tell us about it in advance.

Where should I send my completed sign-up form?

Please send your form to:
Nicola Gay, NCS, The College of West Anglia Wisbech Campus, Ramnoth Road, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE13 2JE