Downham Market Academy and West Norfolk college students win citizen scheme award

Participants of NCS at Downham Market Academy with College of West Anglia Principal David Pomfret left and Downham Market Academy Principal John Ford right. ANL-150325-151417001
Participants of NCS at Downham Market Academy with College of West Anglia Principal David Pomfret left and Downham Market Academy Principal John Ford right. ANL-150325-151417001
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Downham Academy and the College of West Anglia have both been recognised with an award for encouraging students to take part in the National Citizen Service.

The NCS is a national programme which aims to give teenagers the chance to develop important life skills while taking part in new challenges and experiencing interesting activities.

Last year more than 500 15-17 year-olds from across West Norfolk, Fenland and Lincolnshire spent their school holidays taking part in NCS activities.

Andrew Gedge, who is the NCS project manager at the college, said that 2014 had been the college’s most successful year to date. He said: “We were delighted with the number of young people who became involved with the programme.

“NCS provides young people with the confidence and life skills that will enhance their CVs and prepare them for the future and we plan for NCS 2015 to be even better.”

The programmes happen regularly in school holidays, with week-long programmes taking place in Easter and October half-term, but in the summer holidays, it is extended to two weeks to let young people really make the most of the experience. This includes the chance to spend a week at the Mepal outdoor centre taking part in activities such as canoeing, climbing and other team building activities followed by a residential week at CITB, Bircham Newton.

Here the days are spent focussing on the community, building employability skills and taking part in a social action project that gives participants the chance to give back to the community.

It costs £50 to join and food and accommodation are included for the two weeks.

During 2014, teenagers from Norfolk and Cambridgeshire on the programme spent 33,000 hours giving something back to their communities through a series of social action projects that took place throughout the area.

According to a study conducted by NCS, more than 92 per cent of young people said that they have developed skills that will help them in the future as a result of participating in the programme.

It also found that people who took part felt more confident in trying new things, realised that they were more capable than they previously thought, felt more confident about getting a job and gained confidence in meeting new people.

Programmes will start on July 20 and 28 for current Year 11 and 12 students.

For more information visit www.cwa.ac.uk/ncs or call 01553 815209.