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NCS Makes the Big Change “Nice List” this Year!

15 December 2014: posted by BigChange

Tis the season to celebrate our wonderful partner projects…like NCS!

National Citizen Service (NCS) believe that young people can change the world around them, if only given the tools and opportunities. In one of the biggest social innovations of the last 10 years, they run programs for 16 and17 year olds to develop the confidence, motivation and skills to become a positive force in their community. NCS already has 130,000+ engaged and inspired young people who have participated in the program.

Big Change will be helping them to harness and sustain this energy beyond the end of the course, by funding the development of a tool and platform to connect young people with relevant opportunities for social action in their communities.

We sat down with Emma Kenny, the head of strategy at NCS to catch up on her year, Big Change and what’s in store for 2015.

Emma Kenny

Give us one word to sum up your 2014?



What has been your biggest success in 2014?
My proudest moment in 2014 was in Cardiff, when three Ministers stood together to launch a pilot of NCS in Wales, despite being from three different political parties. I was profoundly moved to see the strength of cross-party support that NCS has built in such a short time, and excited to take one step closer to becoming a truly national programme.


What empowers you to work?
NCS is built by people with a shared belief in the power of young people to change the world around them if given the tools, opportunity and respect – and it’s incredibly empowering to be part of that movement. Although NCS Trust is small, we work with more than 6,500 staff and volunteers from over 200 organisations to make NCS possible.


Name someone who inspires you/makes you dream bigger?
Athalia – my “reverse mentor”. My team runs reverse mentoring for NCS Trust, where staff are paired up with NCS graduates for two-way mentoring. I was matched with Athalia, who did NCS in 2013 and has gone on to do amazing things. She gives me brilliant advice about strategic questions that NCS faces and is a true inspiration.


What are your hopes and dreams for 2015?
Next stop, Scotland! My dream is for NCS to become a rite of passage for young people from all backgrounds, in every region of the UK. We’ve made great strides with England, Northern Ireland and Wales, so I hope that 2015 will be the year that we can do the same in Scotland.


How do you want to make a Big Change in 2015?

There are more than 130,000 NCS graduates today, and this community will keep growing in 2015. I want to build a platform to match as many of them as possible to ongoing volunteering opportunities, which will help charities and local organisations across the country tap into the power of an engaged movement of young people.


If you’d like to know more about NCS, click here.