Lucas Lives It at lakeside NCS
18 Sep 2023
The summer of 2023 has become a voyage of discovery for 16 year-old Lucas from Gloucestershire. Having just completed a lakeside adventure with National Citizen Service (NCS), he’s not only mastered paddle boarding, kayaking, and raft building, he’s learned more about different cultures, lifestyles, and himself, than he ever could have imagined.
Having completed his GCSEs and with a full summer ahead of him, Lucas was drawn to the new ‘Live It’
away from home NCS experience. It promises five fun-filled days away, packed with adventurous outdoor activities and the opportunity to meet new people. For a fee of just £95, and the added bonus of counting toward his residential experience for a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, Lucas was keen to see what the week would hold.
“I’m not used to staying away from home for prolonged periods and wasn’t really sure what to expect but was excited at the thought of all the different activities,” says Lucas, who glamped at the beautiful Wimbleball Lake in Somerset. “As soon as I got there, I knew it would be great.
“The activities were brilliant fun: high ropes, paddleboarding, kayaking, but what I really enjoyed was the relaxation time. We could free roam around the centre, play football and cards and get to know the others in the group. It really helped us gel. Everyone could find someone new to talk to and I was able to mix with people from different backgrounds. I learned all about Hinduism and veganism!”
The new NCS residential experiences are delivered in partnership by Ingeus
and the Youth Hostels Association of England and Wales (YHA)
. With a network of specialist youth organisations, including South West Lakes at Wimbleball
, the residential stays offer 16 and 17 year-olds the opportunity to take part in project-based learning activities that promote independent living (Live It), employability (Boss It) and social action (Change It).
Lucas has remained in touch with his new NCS friends and will draw on the confidence, teamworking and communication skills the experience built up as he prepares for A-levels in physics, maths and design and technology at Katharine Lady Berkeley’s School in Kingswood.
He’s also keen to recommend NCS to other young people. The accommodation was large, clean and comfortable, great food, and super company: “I loved every second of it,” says Lucas. “Even when it was pouring down, no one got grumpy or serious. There was never a dull moment, you just know you’re all going to have fun.”