NCS - More information for parents and guardians *Covid-19 Information* Element Society takes coronavirus guidance from the Local Authority (Sheffield City Council), the National Youth Agency (NYA) and the central Government. We take health and safety seriously, and all staff are trained in the measures put in place for our programmes. We keep our measures up to date in order to keep young people and staff safe, so we will always operate under the most up to date guidance. We're proud that since Covid-19 precautions have come into play in March 2020, we have kept all young people safe on our face-to-face programmes with 0 positive cases. This is thanks to an in-depth Covid-19 risk assessment, staff enforcing measures during programmes, and management acting quickly in any situation that might result in spreading the virus. For information about the safety measures we have in place regarding Covid-19, please watch our informational video, check out a summary of our measures, or download our full risk assessment. If you have any further questions about Covid-19, please call us on 0114 2999 211 and speak to a member of our time. What happens at the Parent and Guardian Evening? The Parent and Guardian Evening is an opportunity for parents/guardians to gain more information about NCS and to ask any questions they may have about the programme. It is an opportunity for you to meet us and make sure that your teen will be in safe hands. We aim to send you an invite for the Parent/Guardian Evening 2 weeks in advance so you can plan it into your diaries. We run a number of evenings throughout the year, so if you can’t make the first one, please lookout for the next available date. We recommend that you attend as previous parents and guardians have found it very useful. How long is NCS? It depends on what programme you go on. We have two different models, which last either two weeks or three weeks in summer. What is the difference in programmes? Both programmes include meeting new friends, navigating fun and exciting new challenges together, and learning life skills that’ll help smash future goals. They will also find out more about our local community and work together as a team to turn their passion into action, delivering a social action project that tackles an issue that’s important to their team. For the three week programme, they will do all of this, plus have a residential week, where they stay in selected accommodation overnight for four nights. For the two week programme, they will do all of this in your local area, with no residential aspect. For each programme, the week lasts five days, with weekends off at home. Where do programmes take place? For all residential activities, these will take place at an outdoor activity centre/youth hostel in the Peak District. All other activities are local-based and will be based from Element HQ in Sheffield City Centre. Will my child be forced to do an activity? No. They can absolutely sit out if they really don’t want to do something without feeling any pressure. No-one will ever force them to do anything, and that includes their mates! Where will young people sleep during the residential phases? With Element NCS, accommodation usually consists of an outdoor activity centre/youth hostel for the residential phase. Please check this information in your Welcome Pack or speak to us on the phone if you're yet to sign up. The accommodation is maintained by a vetted outdoor activity centre, and there are security features in place there to keep its residents as safe as possible. Male and female participants are separated into single-gender accommodation and are not allowed to enter each others’ rooms. The accommodation comes with the necessary amenities such as access to showers and power sockets. Some accommodation, including bathrooms, may be shared with other young people but it will only be with participants of the same gender. Is there a curfew? There is a ‘lights out’ time, but only to make sure the young people feel totally refreshed and energised for each action-packed day, and can make the most of their experience. My child has additional requirements (disabilities, religious barriers etc.), is this a problem? No. We’re committed to making NCS open to everyone and will look to accommodate any young people with disabilities wherever possible. Our staff are trained to a high standard to be able to assess individual needs and help everyone enjoy the NCS experience. Can my child continue to practice their faith during the programme? Yes. Element has a dedicated multi-faith room at our building to pray, quietly reflect or meditate. On residential, the staff will make sure there is a room dedicated to this purpose. How much does NCS cost? 1 place on NCS costs £1,500, but because we’re government-funded, the most we’ll ask you to contribute is £50. We also have a bursary scheme available that’s 100% confidential. If you’re not sure you can afford it, get in touch and we’ll ensure that money doesn't stop your teen from taking part. Will my child need extra money for weeks 1 and 2? In short, no. Your £50 covers the entire programme. Some people bring a small amount just in case, but you don’t need to. When we do activities from Element HQ, they can bring a packed lunch or some money for the bus or lunch out with friends. Does NCS count towards UCAS points? It does not count as points but keep in mind UCAS look for more than just points. We’ve seen Universities and employers look very favourably on people who have graduated from NCS because it shows commitment and a wider range of skills and experience. Will some young people going on the programme have challenging behaviour? Element Society aims to support those with challenging behaviour to allow them to take part and get the best out of NCS. As safety is our main priority, we review each young person’s application, particularly paying attention to the medical and support information provided. If we are told that a young person has difficulty with following clear rules and boundaries, we will contact the parent or guardian to discuss this. In some cases, we will contact schools, professionals or other specialists for more information. We then come to a decision about the young person and how much support they may need on NCS. If required, we will put extra staff support in place for the young person. If a young person seriously or persistently breaks the code of conduct, staff will assess the situation and decide on the most suitable action. In some cases, we may ask the young person to leave the programme. Who will be responsible for the young people on the programme? The safety and well-being of participants are paramount. At Element, we are committed to ensuring the utmost effort is made to mitigate risks to health and safety on the programme. NCS staff are DBS checked (previously CRB) and suitably trained to work with young people and run fun, safe activities. All the activities are comprehensively risk-assessed and overseen by carefully selected trained instructors and mentors and the programme is quality assured locally and nationally. Will taking part in NCS interfere with my teen’s academic studies? No. The NCS summer programme takes place in the summer holidays. Our shorter autumn programmes can take place during the autumn term but usually designed with the school or college to reduce disruption to learning. How do I get my teen involved? There are 3 quick and easy ways to book a young person onto one of our programmes. You can get in contact with us anytime Monday to Friday 10 am – 5 pm by calling our office on 0114 2999 211 (during lockdown, we are working from home, so please leave a voicemail and we will call you back). You can email us at [email protected] and one of our team will get back to you. You can go online at wearencs.com/sign-up-to-ncs to fill in your details and book your place. Once registration is complete, we will send you more details about the programme they have signed up for. Got more questions? Please get in contact with us. We are happy to answer any additional questions you might have! Phone - 0114 2999 211 (during lockdown, we are working from home, so please leave a voicemail and we will call you back). 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