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National Citizen Service is value for money, early figures show

National Citizen Service is value for money, early figures show
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National Citizen Service is value for money, early figures show1

Governance | Kirsty Weakley | 17 May 2012

The National Citizen Service pilot has been hailed a success by the government, with an estimated £1 to £2 social return for every £1 invested, according to an independent report published today.

The interim evaluation of the 2011 pilot, carried out by NatCen and New Philanthropy Capital, measured the impact on participants and compared these to a control sample of teenagers from similar backgrounds. The figure of £1 to £2 benefit is based on the value of social action and the improved education outcomes.

At a briefing on the impact report, minister for civil society Nick Hurd described the £1,300 spent on each place as “a significant investment” of taxpayers' money, adding that, “we did need some early indication that it represented value for money” as the programme is expands next year to 30,000 places available, and 90,000 by 2014.

The minister also revealed that a shorter version of the programme will  be trialled. During the October half-term students will have the opportunity to take part in a nine-day version of National Citizen Service. The number of  places that will be available and the format of the shorter programme is still being finalised.

Other key findings:

  • 95 per cent of participants would recommend the programme
  • 77 per cent of participants said they are now more likely to help out locally
  • 85 per cent of participants said they felt more positive towards people from different social backgrounds

The full report will shortly be available from the NatCen website.

The Challenge Network, which is the largest provider, also released results from its scheme. Some 96 per cent of participants completed the programme and 85 per cent went on to complete 30 more hours of volunteering.

The government is inviting voluntary organisations, social enterprises, public sector organisations to bid to run programmes in 2013. For more information click here.

 

Sera Felton
Youth Development Worker
North East LA
21 Sep 2012

This summer (August 2012) we (Local authority youth workers!) took 14 young people to the Lake District for outdoor adventure and self sufficiency for a week for less than £5000! This represents only £357.14 per head. How can £1,300 PER PERSON! of tax payer's money represent good value?

Of course this figure does not include salaries, but one full time worker who is doing stacks of other stuff with young people (me!) and a volunteer were in attendance 24/7.

This project was not tax payers money - but fundraising and grants we managed to get from charitable trusts and our own fund raising! I bring in more than my salary each year to provide positive activities for young people - and consider myself to be excellent value for money!

The community bit goes on throughout the whole relationship lasting several years and beyond - between young people and youth workers they know well.

I realise that (so far) I am one of the lucky ones - when I think of my colleagues throughout the UK who have been cast aside, I could (and have!) cry.... Hopefully these people may have found temporary, part-time work on NCS contracts - doing the hard bit - the actual face to face work with the young people.

Come on government! Thanks to a local authority who believes in youth work - we are employed all year round for young people and we raise our own activity money! Give some NCS funding to us! We are here doing it already!

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