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Youngsters building for the future

GETTING PHYSICAL: Young people from all over the country will bond over a host of outdoor activities including rock climbing and canoeing

WITH YOUTH clubs on the decline and places for young people to hang out few and far between, a programme aimed to help teenagers tackle self-esteem issues and build professional skills in a safe environment are inviting people to get on board.

NCS 2013, the brainchild of the National Citizen Service (NCS), is a three-week residency held during the summer holidays and is open to young people aged 16-17 who are keen to develop their social and professional skills with a mixture of community work and team-building exercises.

Over 26,000 young people participated in NCS in 2012 and this year the programme has almost doubled to allow up to 50,000 youngsters to sign up.

The course, which will be split into three sections, will then culminate in a free concert in Manchester on May 4 headlined by some of the UK’s hottest acts, including popular drum and bass quartet Rudimental.

Throughout the three weeks, young people from all over the country will bond over a host of outdoor activities including rock climbing and canoeing.

They will then be required to pick an activity that allows them to give back to their community. In the final tier, the candidates will asked to discuss their future plans and ambitions with mentors.

Last year’s NCS graduate, Becky Jefferson said of the experience: “Now the course is finished, my confidence has grown massively. I was really nervous before and it wasn’t my thing to stand in front of people and talk. But I did it and enjoyed it. I never knew what I wanted to do after college, but after being told I’m a natural presenter, I’m now trying to pursue a career in TV & radio presenting.”

This year, the NCS joined forces with the UK’s leading online broadcaster SBTV to demonstrate the importance of self-belief among impressionable youngsters with a series of inspirational videos featuring acts including Rita Ora and Wretch 32.

SB.TV founder Jamal Edwards, who kicks off the campaign this week with his own video message, said: "I think it's a great initiative and Self Belief is something I have always represented and put out there to all the people who have followed my story so when we heard from NCS, I wanted to get involved from the get go."

The joint venture highlights the importance of self-belief and confidence as the key to unlock potential and kick-start a better future for young people.

Entry fees have been capped at £50 and bursaries are available.

For more information, visit: www.facebook.com/ncs

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