The Archbishop of York Youth Trust

School Story - St James’ Church of England Primary School

School Story - St James’ Church of England Primary School

General • 18th June 2019

This year, St James’ Church of England Primary School in Ashton-Under-Lyne took part in the Key Stage 2 Young Leaders Award (YLA) with 31 year five pupils. The YLA helps pupils learn key leadership skills, grow in character and have practical opportunities to volunteer and help others in their community.

The young leaders from St James’ took part in both personal and community projects to empower them to ‘be the change they want to see’ in their communities. Their personal projects included buying homeless people lunch, putting their neighbours’ bins out, collecting items to be donated to charity, helping parents to cook and clearing rubbish from the streets in their community.

“It’s been good to help other people who aren’t as lucky as we are.”

Key Stage 2 Young Leader, St James’ Church of England Primary School

As part of the YLA, the young leaders also joined together to take part in a community action project. With permission from the council, they took over some local planters that the council could no longer afford to maintain. They dug out the weeds, replaced the soil, planted bulbs and waited for spring when the flowers bloomed. Now, many of the young leaders walk past the planters in full blossom on their way to school every day, clearing any rubbish to keep them looking tidy.

Along with the accumulated total of 250 hours of volunteering, the young leaders raised nearly £1,000 for two local charities. One of the charities the young leaders chose to support, was a hospice that had sadly looked after the parents of two young leaders in the last year.

“We are so proud of what the children have achieved. As well as improving the community by taking control of some uncared-for planters near our school, they have also spent time organising 2 charity events and raised almost £1,000 in doing so. The support and interest that our children have generated in organising these events has been great and we are so excited to see where they can go next with 'being the change they want to see'.”

Claire Stott, Teacher, St James’ Church of England Primary School

“I can see how I can help to make changes in a positive way. I’m so proud of how much we have achieved.”

Key Stage 2 Young Leader, St James’ Church of England Primary School

About the Archbishop of York Youth Trust

The Youth Trust seeks to develop opportunities for young people to grow in leadership, faith and character, in partnership with schools, churches and communities.

To date, the Youth Trust has enrolled over 675 Primary and Secondary schools to the YLA, empowering over 80,000 young people to learn and practice leadership skills and in turn, make a difference in other people’s lives, through acts of service and community volunteering.

For more information, please visit or contact the Youth Trust on 01904 231010 or


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