It was a summer to remember for Over 600 teenagers from Bolton and the surrounding areas who completed their National Citizen Service (NCS) programme delivered by local youth organisation, Bolton Lads & Girls Club.

Open to all 15 and 17-year-olds, the four-week full-time scheme is designed to create a more cohesive society by mixing young people from a wide variety of backgrounds and seeks to support school leavers’ transitions into adulthood by enabling them to develop essential skills for work and life.

With the Summer NCS programmes now having come to an end, Bolton Lads & Girls Club are reflecting on what has been an exciting and eventful summer for the amazing young people who have taken part. With the theme of this summer’s programme asking young people to ‘Change Your Summer’, the club are celebrating the achievements the young people have excelled in.

Split in to six waves (groups) and over four Phases, the first part of the NCS journey saw the young people develop their leadership and teamwork skills. Phase one saw the teens from their respected waves come together for the first time and get to know their teammates and take part in challenging outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking and rock climbing.

Living together as a team for the first five nights at Borwick Hall in the Lake District, the young people were able to bond and build friendships whilst enjoying some freedom away from home.

Week two was all about ‘Discovery’ as the teams united in a uni-style environment at Bolton University to develop life skills like confidence, leadership and communication to boost their CVs and UCAS personal statements. The teams were allocated with a budget of £20 per person for the entire week in which they had to buy their breakfast, lunch and dinner. The week also included a visit to the Bolton Magistrates to explore and discuss the criminal and civil justice system, visiting a live court room session and playing key roles in a mock trail to understand the court and legal process. Rounding off the week, the groups participated in a Faith Trail, where they visited religious institutions including a Mosque, a Hindu Temple and a Church located in Bolton. The Faith Trails allowed the teens to learn more about different faiths and belief systems as well as broadening their understanding of different places of worship and relationships between faiths.

Weeks Three and Four were all about Social Action where the groups took part in Phase 3 of their journey by researching non-profit organisations to work with to help the community of Bolton. An array of activities was spread across the town as the NCS stars helped bring the community together and make a difference to those that really needed it. Inspired by week two, as part of their social action project, the young people partnered up with local charity Urban Outreach to gather food donations and distribute to those less fortunate.

Speaking about the programme, Bolton Lads & Girls Club NCS Manager, Alison Wood, said:

“It’s been an amazing summer, to see the journey these young people have been on has blown me away.

“To watch them build relationships and friendships which will last a lifetime and connect with their community has demonstrated my faith in young people today on how positive they are.”

Although the summer maybe coming to an end with the NCS programme, the youngsters will now be looking forward to their glitzy NCS graduation set to held at Holiday Inn Bolton, which also completes phase four. The graduation will celebrate all those who have taken part and also be an opportunity for the young people to reminisce about their Summer adventure.

With the summer NCS programme proving to be a huge success, Bolton Lads & Girls Club are encouraging teens to sign up for the Autumn programme set to start in October. With sign ups now well underway, those wishing to experience an adventure of a lifetime should contact the Clubs NSC team on www.ncs@blgc.co.uk