More than 250 teenagers in South Tyneside have signed up to a programme which it’s hoped will change the area this summer.
They have signed up to take part in the country’s flagship youth empowerment programme National Citizen Service (NCS), which helps young people to create community projects in their area.
Over 5,200 16 and 17-year-olds in the North East have signed up to take part in the summer experience and they will be joining a record 100,000 young people nationally.
And as teenagers prepare to take exams, new research, which analyses data provided by UCAS, shows that university admission is about more than just exam grades with NCS graduates 12% more likely to get into university than those that haven’t taken part.
Since its launch in 2009, NCS has given more than 300,000 young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to spend four weeks experiencing the great outdoors, learning important life skills and volunteering in their local community.
The data also revealed that NCS graduates living in areas with the lowest rates of higher education participation were almost 50% more likely to go onto university or college than non-participants.
Thierry Brown, NCS recruitment coordinator for South Tyneside, said: “I’d urge all 16-year-olds in the area to take part in NCS after GCSEs this summer.
“Not only will they make new friends and have an adventure, they will also be fast tracking their future.”
Teenagers have flocked to sign up to the programme, including 65 students from Harton Technology College, 40 from Hebburn Comprehensive School and 37 from Whitburn Church of England Academy.
NCS graduate Harriet Shaw, from East Boldon, said: “It’s amazing how much of an impact NCS can have – not only to your confidence but to meet new people and really put you outside of your comfort zone.
“For anyone thinking about taking part this summer, I’d say just go for it.”
For more information, call 247 4020 or visit NCSNORTHEAST.co.uk to book a place.
NCS costs a maximum of £50, with bursaries of £10 available to young people eligible for free school meals.