A pilot of the youth volunteering programme the National Citizen Service will run in Wales in the autumn.
The scheme helps children aged between 15 and 17 to build new skills by working together to develop and deliver social action projects in their local communities that constitute 30 hours of work. This includes a short time away from home. Young people up to the age of 24 with special educational needs can also take part.
The NCS was launched in 2010 and is already running in England and Northern Ireland, with more than 75,000 young people taking part overall. In the year to March 2013, the Cabinet Office spent £62m, or almost half its total budget, on the NCS. And in January this year the NCS Trust, the community interest company set up to manage the scheme, appointed its first chief executive.
The Office for Civil Society, part of the Cabinet Office, has made up to £300,000 of funding available for a pilot to involve between 200 and 300 participants in Wales, with the main activities for the young volunteers to take place in the autumn half term holiday. It is inviting applications to run this pilot by 3 July, and hopes to have grant agreements signed the following week.
Applicants are asked to ensure they can make provision for Welsh speakers on the scheme and must target some of their activities at Communities First clusters, deprived areas of Wales as defined by the government.