A GROUP of young people from South Lakeland and North Lancashire have set off on a once-in-a-lifetime journey with National Citizen Service (NCS). 

More than 70 young people made their way to Howtown Outward Bound Centres where they will be pushed out of their comfort zones, engaging in outdoor activities and developing their confidence and team leader skills.  

NCS is run in England and Northern Ireland, by the NCS Trust. Inspira manages the programme in Cumbria and Lancashire with a series of delivery partners on behalf of the Trust. 

"Inspira has been involved with NCS from the inception of the programme in 2009," said Dave Todd, NCS Contract Manager for Inspira. "Over the years the numbers have grown significantly, and this year we are taking out over 1000 young people from Cumbria. It is a huge logistical operation but so rewarding when you see the young peoples' experiences first hand." 

NCS is a four-week programme, which comprises a week in an outdoor setting, a week getting a taste of independent living in a uni-style environment where they develop life skills like confidence, leadership and communication to boost their CV or UCAS personal statement.

Following that, the young people are ready to make a difference in their local community by planning then delivering their own social action project. 

For those young people aged 16-17 and still are uncertain about their summer plans – there are some spaces available on July 30 and August 6. 

Last year, social action projects have included rising awareness and money for mental health, homelessness and foodbanks.  

To date, NCS graduates have dedicated nearly 12 million hours of community action.

Each programme includes 30 hours dedicated to a community project, with participants planning and delivering a social action project that gives something back to their community.