Future Voices: The National Citizen Service could change your life

Aaron Cahill took part in the National Citizen Service scheme. Photo : Steve Adams

Aaron Cahill took part in the National Citizen Service scheme. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

ou could do something life-changing in your holidays. You'll meet new people, try new things and make a difference in your local community. This is the National Citizen Service.

NCS is designed for 16-17 year olds to make a positive use of their holidays. This programme, recognised by UCAS, comprises of a residential stay followed by volunteering in your local area. You decide how you want to volunteer – you could do anything from organising a charity fashion show to renovating a youth centre.

I took part this summer and I can honestly say it was the best thing I have ever done. It has led to some amazing opportunities. As part of NCS, I helped Wide Horizons, which gives underprivileged children a chance to see the countryside and explore lots of new activities. We cleared paths, chopped down bushes and got rid of rubbish to basically tidy the place up so many more kids could enjoy it.

I had the most amazing time, met some incredible life-long friends and overcame many difficult hurdles and obstacles. I have been transformed as a result and have grown so much in confidence.

I was recently chosen to become an NCS leader, a select few of 100 like-minded young people across the UK out of the pool of 80,000 summer graduates. It was a gruelling application process, but eventually I made the cut. I was so shocked when I received the news and it left me jumping for joy. Leaders' week over the October half-term was incredible and allowed me to meet Boris Johnson and also my local MP, George Freeman in the Houses of Parliament.

NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you'd have to be a fool to miss out on. For as little as £50 you get everything: food, accommodation, activities – the lot. So say yes to NCS and visit www.ncsyes.co.ukAaron Cahill, 16, Attleborough

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