New research released today by the National Citizen Service (NCS), the country’s flagship youth empowerment programme, has gauged what teens – and their parents – in the North East want to change as 15-16 year olds transition from childhood to adulthood.

The research has revealed that teens in the North East are the most positive and the least nervous about the year ahead than their peers in other regions of the UK.


With GCSE exams looming for young people, over a third (36%) of parents in the North East hope their teens will change to have ‘more confidence’ in the next twelve months, with just under two in five (37%) parents saying they want their teens to be happier in their own skin. Above all, parents want to see their teen embrace change more, with nearly three in five (59%) keen to see this.

When it comes to communication, nearly half of North East parents (42%) said they would like their teens to get better at discussing the things that are bothering them. Yet for young people, having their parents treat them more like an adult (25%) and nag them less (22%) are the changes they would most like to see in the relationship they have with their mum or dad.

The research is being released as NCS launches a new campaign for teens to change their summer:

Natasha Kizzie, Marketing Director at NCS Trust, says:

“NCS is a unique summer programme exclusively for 15-17 year olds. This is a critical period in teens’ development as they start to become young adults. We conducted this research in the North East to find out more about what teens and parents wanted to change this year. It's great to see that confidence, communication skills and independence are a key focus for both groups. NCS is a great opportunity for teens to develop these skills whilst having fun.”

Talking about the findings, Kim Smith, Contract Director for NCS North East, says: “We want teens in the North East to join us to change their summer. NCS is a really amazing way to spend three weeks of your longest summer holiday ever, after the hard slog of GCSE exams. With so many changes happening in the world, but also personally, NCS makes sure young people are equipped with the tools you need to tackle whatever the world throws at you.”

V•Inspired and National Youth Agency (NYA) deliver NCS across the North East, working with a number of local delivery partners. In 2016, almost 5,000 teenagers from the region completed the scheme, with even more expected to take part in 2017.

North East parents and teens were in agreement when asked what one thing they would change in the world in 2017. ‘Creating more jobs for young people’ was the top wish for both a quarter of parents (25%) and teens (27%).

Despite a concern over the lack of job opportunities for young people, teens in the North East were more likely to be positive (39%) or excited (16.9%) than nervous (13.6%) about the year ahead.

In fact, North East teens are 10% more positive and 10% less nervous than the national average.
Commenting on the research – and the NCS campaign – local teen James Barrett, 17 from Washington, says:

“For most Year 11s the focus is just on surviving the year! “That’s why having something like NCS to look forward to is so important. My NCS experience changed me as a person. I’m more confident, less stressed and surer of myself. It’s not a chance that is offered to you every day; and why I want other teenagers to change their summer and sign up to NCS now.”


“The one thing I’d change about my own year ahead is how I socialise with new people. NCS opened my eyes to the fact that there are so many diverse and amazing people to get to know.”

Find out more about NCS’ summer programme for 15-17 year olds here

About the research The research for NCS was carried out by Opinion between: 21/12/2016 and 28/12/2016.
Sample: 1,002 parents of 15-16 year olds + 1,002 15-16 year olds.