The programme is focused on 6 main principles:
- Social Mixing: Providing young people with the opportunity to mix and build relationships with people from different social backgrounds;
- Challenge: Putting young people through a series of challenging activities to take them out of their comfort zone and develop strength of character;
- Increased responsibility and independence: Providing a progressive journey that hands over more responsibility to young people as the programme progresses and develops the leadership skills necessary to succeed in the workplace;
- Reflection: Encouraging young people to reflect, supporting them to learn from their experiences and become more resilient, confident and more effective in their decisions and relationships;
- Social Action: Enabling young people to connect with and get involved in their communities and develop skills that are useful for future employment;
- Inspiration: Encouraging young people to flourish after NCS – continuing to mix, contribute to their community and achieve personal goals.
I'm so much more confident than I was before NCS - I’ve grown as a person and I'm more comfortable in my own skin. Meeting new people and developing valuable skills has allowed me to realise my potential in life.Participant, Summer 2012
2012 was Future Foundations’ first year delivering NCS while it was still in the pilot phase. Summer saw an impressive 500 places delivered over 9 regions across the UK.We delivered Summer NCS in:Leicester, Nottingham, Berkshire, Bath, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, Coventry and Sheffield.
This huge logistical operation also including setting up and delivering our own outdoor activity week at Wellington College in partnership with Skillforce.
Our first experience with NCS provided successful with incredible feedback about the programme from schools, parents, participants and the Cabinet Office
NCS LEADERS PROGRAMME
After the success of the Summmer, Future Foundations were selected by the Cabinet Office to design and deliver the very first NCS leaders programme which brought 100 of the top NCS graduates from around the UK for a 5 day residential where they developed their leadership skills, visited 10 Downing street and meet other young people from all across the country who are interested in social action We delivered the programme again in 2013 and you can read more about it here
2012 was the first year the Autumn programme was delivered. Future Foundations took on 4 regions and delivered the new model to 150 young people in Southampton, Wandsworth, Berkshire and Leicester. Young people spent a week at PGL before returning to their communities for 5 Saturdays of social action and leadership skills.
2013 was the start of the new contracts for NCS as the programme moved away from the Cabinet Office and towards being managed by the independent NCS Trust. Future Foundations won 3 contracts working with:
- Petroc in Bath
- New College Nottingham
- The NCS Network under UKYouth in Berkshire
Under the 3 contracts we delivered 260 places across the 3 regions. In Berkshire we created and piloted the Champion Cluster model of recruitment working with The Holt, Forest School and Wellington College. This was hugely successful and the model is now being used by other providers.
Once again Future Foundations was selected to deliver the NCS Leader programme working with the NCS Trust. 98 young people from around the country came for an amazing 5-day residential. You can read more about the programme and its impact here.
“The quality of the programme you delivered is clearly shown in the feedback survey responses received from the 98 young people who attended. 9.7 out 10 participant’s would recommend the programme to a friend… Behind the scenes, my colleagues at NCS Trust have praised the hard work, dedication and ability of your staff in delivering a high quality programme within a challenging timescale”
Michael Lynas, NCS Trust CEO (read the letter in full here- NCS Trust letter – Michael Lynas)
Download the impact report from the NCS trust here-NCS Leaders 2013 Report
In Autumn 2013 we focused our delivery on one region staying with the NCS Network in Berkshire. We ran the programme for 86 young people over the October half term which included a residential in Wales where the participants went co-steering, mountain biking and hiking in the beautiful region of Pembrokeshire. The teams returned to Reading to delver their social action projects- you can read about there here (link to bottom of page)
We delivered the Spring pilot model in Berkshire, it was a small programme with only 8 participants but a fantastic experience for everyone who took part. The team spent 3 nights at Hindleap Warren Outdoor center, braving the cold April weather for a night in the bush. After the residential the team worked with Launchpad for their social action project raising money and awareness for the Reading based homeless charity.
This summer we delivered the NCS programme to 138 young people with a staff and volunteer team of 40 working through the summer. We had young people from all across Berkshire take part in the programme and the graduation events in September had the 12 teams presenting their amazing projects they had created; from sensory gardens, to painting community centers, to cleaning up the streets of Reading. You can read more about the graduation events here.
You can also read about one of the winning teams watch their amazing video below. Our 3 winning summer teams competed against each other and the Autumn winning team at this years FF Annual Awards
Autumn 2014 took place from the 24th October until 27th November with 45 participants. The teams did their residential phase at Condover Hall in Shropshire. The 3 teams developed 3 incredibly different social action projects. One team turned a community centre into a creative space, another developed a scheme to support those with Alzheimer’s and the third team supported Primary schools in buying tablets and increasing the use of technology into the school curriculum.
This past week or so I have also been amazed by his enthusiasm for and commitment to his group's social action project and the obvious enjoyment and benefit that he is getting from participating - it's a great pity that the NCS programme isn't part of the national curriculum!Parent
The most powerful experience of my lifeNicole, NCS Leaders 2013
Case Study- Participant
Catherine Jones, Nottingham Girls High School, Summer 2013
What skills have you learnt through NCS? Communication skills such as contributing to group discussions and confidence when presenting. I learnt how to tie a knot which I didn’t know before! I feel like this experience has made me more independent and organised away from home.
What has been your highlight of NCS? During the first weeks I really enjoyed the outside activities, especially swimming, rafting in the lake and sleeping outdoors was really fun. I enjoyed hearing about exciting social action projects in week 3.
How has NCS inspired you to get involved in your community? Our day out to Long Eaton opened my eyes to the problems the community faces that I didn’t know about before. Being in a group with the set up around us makes me realistic to make a real impact than if we were at home.
Gurjot Uppal, The Bulmershe School, Summer 2013
How has NCS inspired you to get involved in your community? I didn’t know about the problems that existed in my community. It’s inspired me to take responsibility to find them and trying to fix them.
What is your Social Action project and why did you choose it? We’re giving local businesses the challenge of raising as much money and awareness as possible for the Berkshire Autistic Society in 10 days. We did this as on our community visit we learnt that autism is a huge issue in the area and the BAS told us the best way we could contribute to the issue was through fundraising. We wanted to raise funds and bring together the community at the same time.
“I just wanted to say thank you. Before this programme I’d decided I was going to be a nurse because I didn’t believe I could be a doctor because of my grades. Now I know that I can do it if I believe I can.”
Case Study- Social Action
Each programme our NCS participants create amazing social action projects- read about some of them below
SSH Sensory- Summer 2014
This team created a sensory garden at a local Reading primary school to help those with sensory impairments or who are on the Autistic disorder spectrum. They also wanted all children to benefit from the calming environment the garden would provide which would help them progress through school life.
The team raised over £1000 through bake sales, donations and other fundraising efforts and created an incredible garden in under 2 weeks. They have created a blueprint that other schools can use to create similar gardens and have secured £2000 in additional funding from Starbucks to continue working on their project. The team created an amazing video which shows their project and the impact it made on the children. Watch the video and get inspired!
Read the teams report here Report – SSH Sensory_KCF
Team HUA- Autumn 2013
Team HUA’s project aim was to help support the national campaign to change the law making child neglect a criminal offense. The team worked with Action for Children and the NSPCC, to make this change by getting signatures for a petition to be presented to Parliament and educating people on child abuse through presentations and engaging with the public.
They managed to get 2500 signatures in the short space of 4 weeks and have continued working with the NSPCC since graduating. The video they created has been shown at schools around Reading and shared through social media to hundreds of people. Team HUA presented at the FF 2013 Awards and took out the top prize for thier social action projects
Read the teams report here: Team HUA Report
Our Staff and Volunteers
Each year we work with loads of different staff and volunteers to deliver the NCS programme. Our staff come from a huge range of backgrounds and experiences ranging from teachers, youth workers, motivational speakers, students, careers advisers and trainers. Many of staff return year after year and bring a hugh wealth of experience from NCS and other programmes they work on with us throughout the year.
We aren’t the only ones who think our staff are an amazing bunch, on NCS Summer 2014, an independent QA visit of our programme said this about one of our summer staff:
“I really found her to be incredibly motivational, challenging and interested in what the young people were presenting. She facilitated excellent conversations in the room and maintained a high level of energy and presence from participants.”