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Financial doubts surface over Cameron’s ‘big society’ youth programme

National Citizen Service, the £1.5bn state-funded scheme for teenagers, failed targets and is ‘not value for money’

The most visible legacy of David Cameron’s “big society”, a £1.5bn taxpayer-funded scheme that encourages teenagers to get involved in their communities, is under scrutiny amid evidence that it is failing to deliver value for money.

The National Citizen Service, which was launched in 2011, brings together young people from different backgrounds for a programme of personal and social development. It offers a three- to four-week part-residential programme where 15- to 17-year-olds work in teams building life skills, taking on challenges, making friends and contributing to their community.

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