NCS Trust and DofE partner up to help students around England

The National Citizen Service (NCS Trust) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) have been chosen to deliver a pioneering Enrichment Partnerships Pilot (EPP) to give thousands of young people in schools across selected areas of England the chance to participate in high quality enrichment activities.

The pilot scheme aims to improve the availability and quality of  enrichment activities in up to 200 secondary schools within Education Investment Areas in the North West, the North East and the East of England. 

Activities will be delivered by a local enrichment coordinator, who will work with up to 10 schools plus other organisations, businesses and the council in their area, and will include a wide range of locally-relevant opportunities, from sports and arts to volunteering and outdoor experiences.  Young people will be at the heart of designing the activities.

The £2.7 million funding, provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Department for Education, will see the NCS Trust work with a network of up to 20 grantees, supported by the DofE, who will lead on establishing local partnerships and sharing best practice.

The NCS Trust and the DofE are looking to build on existing networks and partnerships with local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations and multi-academy trusts as well as establishing new partnerships to deliver the pilot. 

Mark Gifford, CEO of the NCS Trust, welcomed the partnership, saying: “We are delighted to team up with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to roll out the Enrichment Partnerships Pilot. The programme will provide support to up to 200 secondary schools in underserved communities to improve access to quality enrichment opportunities.

“We know that many schools would like to up their enrichment offer, but face barriers such as connecting with local organisations, managing staff time and resources. Young people often gain skills outside of the typical classroom environment and we want to provide them with access to high-quality, relevant opportunities which reflect their interests and aspirations, benefiting them now and in the future.”

Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “Enrichment activities help young people have fun, gain skills and self-belief, and connect with their communities – with positive impacts for their mental and physical health, social mobility and educational outcomes. 

“But we know many young people are still missing out – so we’re delighted to be embarking on this groundbreaking partnership with the NCS Trust, connecting more young people with potentially life-changing opportunities beyond their classrooms.”

Interested organisations looking to apply for grants to deliver enrichment coordination can submit an application from Monday 6 November at Applications close at 5pm on Friday 24 November.

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.

Every year, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) inspires hundreds of thousands of young people, from all walks of life, to explore who they are, grow in confidence and develop the skills and self-belief they need to successfully navigate life. The DofE is delivered in schools, colleges, community organisations, hospitals, prisons and more, all over the UK.

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