London teens make a difference


Brought to you in association with The Challenge

There’s only so much that can be taught in a classroom, and teenagers across London are stepping up to the challenge of the National Citizen Service. Youth development programmes such as NCS aim to create a more cohesive, responsive, and engaged society.

The NCS is a government funded voluntary personal development programme for young people aged 15 to 17.  It gives teens the opportunity to meet new people, try new things, and make a real difference in their communities. The Challenge have been running NCS since an initial pilot in 2009, and now deliver the programme in London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire, the Midlands, and parts of North West England.

As a national charity, The Challenge is working to strengthen communities. As London teens embark on the exciting adventures of NCS, they also make a real difference to their communities. Working with a team, they develop their own project to make their mark in the local community, learning the lessons they don’t teach in class.

Many who have completed NCS feel that it has given them new self-confidence and an experience like no other. NCS participation can also help increase their potential in life and give teens valuable skills that they can apply to their future careers. NCS helps develops skills like leadership, communication and teamwork and builds confidence, not to mention the experience looks great on a CV or UCAS personal statement.


The Challenge encourages young people to be local heroes and achieve big goals by giving them the opportunity to make a difference through programs such as NCS, HeadStart, and Step Forward, The Challenge brings together people from diverse backgrounds. By working together, everyone learns from each other, strengthening communities and society as a whole. The Challenge said. ‘All teens can and should join the movement. It’s a great experience and something that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your life.’

NCS gives teens a renewed confidence in themselves and their communities. On top of that, they get to try experience outdoor activities like kayaking, abseiling and caving or ghyll scrambling and the opportunity to develop a skill like Enterprise, Sport, Drama, Media, Photography or Music. For parents, these programmes offer great value for money and a real eye-opening experience for their teen. The government backing means that NCS cost £50 or less, with bursaries available for those who need them.

NCS runs throughout the year. Most projects last several weeks, with shorter projects available during half term weeks. Even in a few days, the difference that a project can make in a community and in a teen are huge. If you’re a teen, parent, or teacher wanting to find out more about upcoming programmes and how to get involved, visit for information.

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