With over 500,000 NCSers that have gone before you, chances are you’re not the first to ask it. We’ve pulled together all our FAQs to try and make your life a little easier.
If we don’t have the answer for you here, get in touch.
CAN I COME WITH MY MATES?
Whether you go with a friend or by yourself, just remember – you’ll meet so many incredible people and make so many new mates! It’s the biggest thing we hear from our grads.
Will there be WiFi?
Good question, nobody wants to be away from Instagram for too long. It will depend which NCS experience you take part in, but most accommodation for Stages 1 and 2 should have all the WiFi you need – along with plenty of sockets to keep your phone juiced up. How else could you tell the world how much fun you’re having?!
WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY ‘ACCOMMODATION’?
You could be living it up in university halls, kipping under the stars in a festival-style wigwam, or maybe some new place we haven’t even discovered yet! It all depends on where you go on programme. Your local NCS team might be able to tell you straight away, but if things aren’t final yet, we aim to let you know the exact details about a month before your NCS experience starts.
Am I allowed stuff like straighteners and makeup?
Sure! It’s important you feel comfortable from start to finish, so bring along whatever you need to feel at ease (within reason that is – we may not have room for your TV or drum kit). Even if you’re sleeping under the stars there will still be showers and places to get ready for your day ahead, so rest assured you’ll feel at home.
How much does NCS cost?
‘Technically’ a place on NCS costs £1,500 but because we’re government funded, the most we’ll ask you to contribute is £50. And at certain times of the year it could cost even less! We also have a bursary scheme available that’s 100% confidential. If you’re not sure you can afford it, just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.
DO I NEED EXTRA £££ ON WEEKS 1 AND 2?
In short, no. Your £50 covers all your food, accommodation and activities in Stages 1 and 2. Some people bring a tenner along just in case, but you don’t need to.
When you reach the Do Good stage, you’ll be back home, so you might need some change for the bus or money for your lunch. But it’s your neighbourhood so you’ll know better than us.
Will I ever be forced to do an activity?
Nope that’s not our style. You can absolutely sit out if you really don’t want to do something without feeling any pressure. No-one will ever force you to do anything, and that includes your mates!
What we may do though is encourage you to challenge yourself where you can. Use your NCS experience as a chance to explore another side of you, or do something you’ve never done before. But in the end it’ll always be your decision.
Does NCS count towards UCAS points?
Not at the moment, but keep in mind UCAS look for more than just points. We’ve seen universities look very favourably on people who have graduated from NCS because it shows you have a wider range of skills and experience. And while we’re at it, employers are also looking for more than just grades – it’s you as a whole they’re interested in!
Is there a curfew?
Well, yes there is a ‘lights out’ time. But only to make sure you feel totally refreshed and energised for each action-packed day, and to help you make the most of your experience. After all, you don’t want to waste it! Plus not everyone is a night owl, so we aim to find the right balance to suit everybody.
Can I bring my phone?
Big question, but yes don’t panic you can keep up with the outside world while on NCS. In fact we want you to share and shout about your experience! There will be times that we’ll ask you to leave your phone behind – like if you’re about to take the plunge into an outdoor activity – but apart from that go nuts!
What about my Xbox or PlayStation (or both)?
Unfortunately not, but it’s safe to say you won’t miss it! From learning how to start a campfire to just relaxing around it with your new mates, there’s going to be so much for you to experience that we’re willing to bet you won’t think of those home comforts once.
HOW OLD DO I NEED TO BE TO GO ON NCS?
NCS is designed for 16 and 17 year olds. But you can go on programme this summer as a 15 year old, as long as you turn 16 by 31 August 2020. If you turn 18 by this date, unfortunately, you aren’t eligible.
I have a disability – can I still take part?
We’re committed to making NCS open to everyone and will look to accommodate any young people with disabilities wherever possible. Also all our providers are trained to a high standard to be able to assess individual needs and help everyone enjoy the NCS experience.
Is there a contact number I can give my parents?
Sure, you can contact us on 0800 197 8010. Also once you’ve actually started your NCS experience, emergency numbers will be prepared and given out by your local NCS team.
What Are Your Opening Hours?
We're open 8am-9pm Mon-Sat and 8am-6pm Sun and Bank Holidays.
When will I know if I’ve got a place on NCS?
Once you’ve completed your application and paid your contribution, we’ll check that no important details are missing and let you know if we need anything else (such as further medical or support information). Then once that’s all tied up, you’ll get either an email or letter in the post confirming your place on NCS!
If you can no longer take part in NCS this year, please let us know as soon as possible so we can give your place to someone else. Or if you need to change to a different NCS experience because of dates clashing, just get your parent or guardian to log into their online account and select from the other options in your area. The sooner they do this, the more likely we’ll be able to get you onto another NCS experience. Even if the dates are full up we can still add you to a waiting list, but that will mean giving up the place you already have.