NCS (National Citizen Service) is a youth programme that runs across England and Northern Ireland. Focusing on social cohesion, social engagement and social mobility, NCS unifies young people through a collective sense of purpose, optimism and belonging, instilling a lifelong commitment to doing good. Since 2009, over 600,000 young people have taken part in NCS programmes.

Our pledges:

Prioritise supporting young people to take social action

  • Put high quality youth social action at the core of the NCS theory of change and service delivery for our network of ~120 providers of social action for 15-18 year olds
  • Embed ‘six principles’ of social action into quality framework and programme planning guidance
  • Expand opportunities for year-round social action through community action groups
  • Trial longer-term volunteering opportunities as an employability pathway (with a focus on low-income & BAME young people)
  • Ensure participation in social action for those from low-income & BAME backgrounds

Open up our decision-making structures

  • Embed a Youth Voice focus to ensure our strategy and decision-making, is driven by the voices and insights of the young people we serve
  • Embed our Youth Voice Forum (YVF) into NCS Trust’s governance
  • Allow young people to shape, influence and challenge our thinking and ways of working, at all levels
  • Provide development and learning opportunities for young people within the Trust and our network of delivery partners
  • Ensure representation on YVF of young people from low-income & ethnic minority backgrounds

Work collaboratively with other organisations

  • Create high-quality resources to be delivered by schools and colleges, focused on personal development, volunteering and social action
  • Co-create bespoke co-curricular programmes with youth organisations, schools and colleges
  • Co-create high-quality digital resources, freely available to all, including younger age groups
  • Partner with experts to provide world-class blended personal development & skill building programmes, including for those who cannot access in-person programmes

Evidence the benefits of youth social action

  • Advocate for, generate and share research and evidence around benefits of youth social action
  • Support and champion the Power of Youth Index and lead by example to embed it within the Trust and across our wider delivery network
  • Evaluate NCS programmes delivering social action to establish the impact and benefits for young people and their communities
  • Capture and share stories of positive impact from young people, their parent/ guardians and wider programme beneficiaries

Recognise and celebrate young people’s impact

  • Put young people at the centre of our brand and communications and campaigns by letting them co-create our campaigns, as a part of their development
  • Continue successful Youth Rising podcast, produced by young people, for young people, to ensure they have a voice on issues that matter
  • Give young people a platform and a role through our social channels and blog: amplifying positive stories of young people, celebrating our Changemakers and their impact, and highlighting topics that matter most to them