Groundwork have announced a new community experience programme funded by NCS (National Citizen Service) that will support young people across the South West of England.

Young people painting a park bench white

The grant is part of a significant £20m funding package that NCS Trust have awarded to organisations across England for the delivery of community-based experiences at a local and grassroots level.

These new experiences will complement NCS’ existing ‘away from home’ residential offer by providing more opportunities for teenagers to engage in local activities that foster skills development, deepen their understanding of the community, and empower them to contribute positively to its improvement.  The grants will also support organisations that cater to specific groups of young people who may not have participated in previous NCS initiatives.

In collaboration with the National Youth Agency and StreetGames, NCS assessed more than 400 applications and Groundwork was selected as one of around 100 organisations to receive funding.

The grant will allow Groundwork to deliver a breadth of community experiences for any young person aged 16-17 years old wishing to get involved.  These are designed to be fun, engaging and educational.  Themes include, developing life skills and support independent living, employability and work readiness, and an opportunity to be involved in community social action.  Young people have the opportunity to design their own social action project, linked to the ‘green economy’, improving their local communities and environments whilst gaining employability skills. Young people will have the opportunity work in teams to develop key skills; exploring leadership, entrepreneurship, project planning, and budgeting, developing their confidence, resilience, and communication skills. 

Groundwork is pleased to be working alongside some amazing partners to ensure that young people have a wide choice of accessible community experiences.  Local and regional partners include; Argyle Community Trust, Exeter City Community Trust, Dartmoor Zoological Society, Dorset Community Action, Groundwork South, Inspiring Learning – Skern Lodge, Petroc Official, Pilot IMS LTD, Police Community Clubs Of Great Britain, & Weymouth College. 

Peter Fleet, Youth Development Manager at Groundwork, said: “Groundwork has successfully delivered NCS programmes across London and the South of England over many years.  This new round of funding from NCS Trust allows us to build on that success; providing opportunities where young people can thrive and benefit.  This additional funding gives us the opportunity to engage more young people in positive activity, inspiring them to achieve their potential, improve quality of life, and raise aspiration.  It also provides young people with wider social and emotional support alongside much needed information, choice and guidance for education, career pathways and life’s next steps”

Mark Gifford, CEO of NCS Trust, added: “I am delighted to welcome a diverse range of local, grassroots and community organisations from across the youth sector to deliver reimagined NCS experiences. This allows us to reach more young people than ever before, ensuring they are equipped with the skills and perspective to become work ready and world ready. Additionally, our grants for targeted experiences will enable us to reach underserved young people and communities.”

Gifford added, “Together, we will work towards creating a country of confident, connected, caring citizens where everyone feels at home.”

Over the past decade, more than 800,000 young people have benefitted from an NCS experience, dedicating over 18 million hours to community based social action, while gaining invaluable life experiences.

For more information about our NCS ‘Open to All’ Community Experiences in the South West of England and how to get involved in opportunities local to you, please contact Luke Edmonds (NCS Lead) who would be pleased to put you in touch with one of our local delivery partners –

For more information, please contact

Groundwork London Comms

 NCS Press Office – email or call us on 020 3920 8576.

About NCS (National Citizen Service)

NCS is an experience like no other. Designed for 16-17 year olds, and for young people (aged between 18 and 24) with special educational needs and disabilities, NCS runs year-round and offers a range of experiences for young people throughout the year, helping them to have greater confidence, resilience and wellbeing. Teens get the opportunity to mix with a new crowd, learn about independent living, take on new challenges and build friendships.

The programme is all about emboldening young people – by giving them a taste of independence, equipping them with essential life skills, and building work-readiness through volunteering and social action.

NCS participants will benefit from a new residential experience from 2023, which will consist of a five day stay away from home where they will take part in activities that centre around employability, independent living or social action. Young people will have access to digital experiences and will be able to take part in NCS closer to home with regular one-off activities where they can gain new skills, learn more about their local community, and how they can help to improve it.

Since 2009 more than 800,000 young people have benefitted from an NCS experience, completing over 18 million hours of community action, and gaining priceless life experiences.

NCS offers bursaries and support to those who need it most, including families on Universal Credit and young people with special educational needs or disabilities, in line with its commitment to make the life-changing NCS experience available to every young person.

NCS delivers value for money. £3.05 of benefits to society for every £1 spent. During lockdown NCS has had over 1.7 million unique engagements with teens through its ‘Staying Connected’ hub.

About NCS Trust

NCS Trust is an Arm’s Length Body of DCMS incorporated by Royal Charter and established to shape, support, champion and lead a thriving National Citizen Service.

National Citizen Service Trust is registered in England and Wales with Royal Charter Body number RC000894.

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