Four Lancashire teens have been selected for NCS Leader roles from thousands across the Country

NCS Leaders 2015

From left to right: Jack Todd (NCS Graduate Co-ordinator, Inspira), Katie Scattergood, Rebecca Hawkesford, Kathy Miller, Megan McDonald, Benjamin Wareing, Adam Asalm and Joe Phillipson (NCS Trust).

Four Lancashire teenagers have returned from a half-term experience with a difference, having spent an intensive week acquiring new skills including leadership, teamwork, project planning and media and digital communications. The Teens were selected out of thousands of young people across the country to become one of 100 National Citizen Service (NCS) Leaders.

Benjamin Wareing (Preston), Rebecca Hawkesford (Lancaster), Megan McDonald (Thornton Cleveleys) and Adam Aslam (Blackburn) were selected for the roles following their determination and enthusiasm when developing a social action project within their local community as part of the country’s flagship youth programme, NCS, last summer. NCS is managed by Inspira in Lancashire and Cumbria.

Like many teenagers across Lancashire, Ben, Rebecca, Megan and Adam gave up their summer to take part in the NCS programme, where they met other young people from different backgrounds, took on outdoor challenges and made a positive difference in their communities.  Running across the country during school holidays, the two-three week programme is open to 16&17 year olds and costs no more than £50.

Following their experience on the programme and a rigorous selection process, the four teens were invited to take part in the prestigious annual NCS Leaders programme, which aims to help stand-out NCS graduates further develop their skill-set, build a national network of like-minded young people and help them to lead others to deliver positive change in their community.

As part of the leadership programme, Ben, Rebecca, Adam and Megan participated in various workshops focusing on personal and social development, including presenting, leadership skills and problem solving skills. Sessions were delivered by government departments and top business and community partners including No10 Downing Street, Cabinet Office, Accenture, Bloomberg, Google, Just Giving and Sport Relief.  One of the main events that took place was a media day hosted by the Roundhouse in London, where young people learnt about video creation and TV presenting and were given a careers challenge where they learnt different ways to enhance their communication skills. In the final stage of the leadership week, all 100 participants spent an afternoon making their mark in the local area, helping to restore and maintain the grounds of the Wide Horizons charity’s Margaret McMillan House.

Commenting on becoming an NCS Leader, Ben Wareing said, “NCS Leaders has absolutely changed me as a person. Not only has it been thoroughly enjoyable to experience, it has given me a burning passion to enact a change in my community. I now want to benefit lives, and make something of myself. I look forward to running my social action project throughout the coming year.”

The first stage of a teenager being selected as an NCS Leader is being nominated by the NCS regional provider, in recognition of not only their ability and enthusiasm, but also their development during the programme and their ability to overcome personal challenges or support other people to do the same.

Speaking of his decision to nominate the four teens, Dave Todd, Regional NCS Contract Manger for Inspira said, “Ben, Rebecca, Megan and Adam thoroughly deserves this recognition. Their dedication on NCS was incredible, they truly immersed themselves into all the activities, particularly the social action project. It was so fulfilling watching their confidence and ability grow, and I know they are already encouraging other young people in Lancashire to follow their footsteps.”

NCS provides programmes for 16 and 17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland during the summer holidays and February and October half terms. The programme costs no more than £50, and is free for some. Extra support is provided to those with additional needs. To find out more, or to take part, visit



The young people are available for interview.  For further information or images, please contact: Claire Benson, Marketing and Communications Manager, Inspira – 01931 711300 or 07718618894.

About NCS

National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity open to 16 & 17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland.

Inspira manages and delivers NCS across Lancashire and Cumbria, on behalf of the NCS Trust.

It is a unique two or three week full-time programme focused around fun and discovery, plus 30 hours committed to a community project that benefits both young people and society. On this government backed programme, participants build skills for work and life, while taking on new challenges and adventures, making new friends, and contributing to their community. Following this initial experience, participants become NCS graduates, part of a rapidly growing movement of more than 200,000 engaged young people with access to opportunities and support to continue their personal and social development.

Government backing means that it costs just £50 or less to take part in NCS and bursaries are available on a case by case basis. Support is provided for young people with additional needs.

NCS represents great value for money for parents as participants spend up to two weeks away from home with all meals and activities covered. The first week is spent at an outward bound facility participating in activities such as abseiling, water rafting and canoeing. The second week teens live away from home, typically at local university halls of residence, learning how to be self-sufficient, developing new skills and finding out more about the needs of their local community.

Taking place outside school/term time, teens can sign up for the part-residential experience and participate in either the spring, summer or autumn programmes.  In every programme they will experience four sections that focus on personal and social development including leadership, teamwork and communication skills. Not only do 16 & 17 year olds have the chance to give something back, but it also looks great on CVs and helps with job, college and university applications, building future aspirations. NCS is now recognised by UCAS and taking part is a sought after addition to any CV.

In 2013, NCS Trust, an independent social enterprise, was established to manage NCS and execute the ambitious expansion of the government backed programme.