BRADFORD teenagers are being called on to sign up for the National Citizen Service this summer, to take part in a programme of fun challenges and community interaction.

The NCS is appealing for young people aged between 15 and 17 to sign up for its summer programme.

Activities will including a number of challenger outdoor pursuits, such as kayaking, rock climbing and abseiling, as well as volunteering in the community, learning to cook, public speaking, campaigning, and pitching ideas to professional businesspeople.

The aim of the programme is to build young people’s confidence and skills, and forge new friendships with people from a range of different backgrounds, ethnicities, ages, social classes and genders.

NCS is run by social integration charity The Challenge, which encourages mixing and interaction across all social divides through exciting and rewards challenges.

The four week programme, which runs throughout July and August on a range of dates, costs £50, and includes residential trips and support during the challenges.

Dominic May, performance and operations director for The Challenge, is urging young people to sign up for the NCS.

He said: “Research shows that we tend to build friendships with people with a similar education, of a similar age and ethnicity as ourselves.

“This means we are missing out on connecting with our wider society.

“These young people will take on new challenges together this summer, new adventures and will also give back to their community through social action projects. This is a unique experience, giving young people a new and better perception of so-called ‘differences’, leading to a more integrated society.”

One young person who took part in the NCS last year added: “NCS allowed me to do things I thought I would never do.

“It really showed me that I can overcome my boundaries and I learnt to be more independent and outgoing.

“If you’re looking for a summer of fun, that is both productive and enjoyable, NCS is for you. Just do it!”

Almost half of the young people who took part in the programme last year have said they plan to volunteer in their local communities this year.

A third of participants added they felt more empowered to make a difference in their communities thanks their experience with the NCS.

As part of The Challenge’s partnership with the University of Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Intergroup Conflict, it was also found there was an increase in understanding, empathy and respect of people who participants would ordinarily have judged as different, thanks to taking part in the programme.

For more information about The Challenge and the NCS and to sign up to take part this summer, visit, or call 020 35105050.