The Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust is embarking on a major fundraising initiative, to raise £375,000 in funds, to extend its leadership courses for young people living in the top 20% of the most deprived areas across the North of England.
The independent charity has supported over 50,000pupils in 450 schools to complete the Young Leaders Award at Key Stages 2, 3 and 4 since 2008. This fundraising aim is to reach out to an additional 15,000 young people living in disadvantaged communities in 300 primary and secondary schools within the next 18 months.
The Archbishop of York said,
“Never before has it been so important for our young people, regardless of their background or faith, to discover the life skills of compassion, patience, self-control, gentleness and leadership. The Youth Trust is helping to raise a generation motivated by such virtues. Young people are the answer and have the potential to change our world for the better.”
Dan Finn, Director of The Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust said,
“We want our Young Leaders Awards to reach more children, particularly those with challenging backgrounds for whom, we believe, our Young Leaders Award will make a real difference. It costs just £25 to support a pupil through the leadership programme. We are calling on the general public, business leaders and organisations to back our fundraising appeal to help us raise £375,000.”
The Young Leaders Awards, developed by the Youth Trust, are delivered to faith and non-faith groups, educating young people about community, respect and also developing a greater understanding of self and others. Citizenship modules are completed as part of the Awards which encourage youth-led volunteering and positive social action. Students are guided and encouraged to run their own projects such as litter picking, fundraising for their local hospice, organising a Christmas party for the elderly, or supporting their local food bank.
The Young Leaders Awards are designed to boost confidence, emotional resilience and life skills whilst learning about inspirational global leaders such as Mahatma Ghandi, whose famous phrase, “be the change you want to see” is a core value of the charity.
An independent research report from the University of Gloucestershire found that many of the children who took part in the Award experienced increased confidence, self-esteem and emotional resilience. In turn, 60% of pupils stated that they ‘agreed’ or ‘partly agreed’ that they would continue to volunteer in their communities after the programme had finished. The research shows that young people demonstrated significant improvements in three core areas: (i) personal development (maturation, self-awareness, confidence), (ii) social and community development (respect, tolerance, social awareness), (iii) and future thinking (world of work skills, practical knowledge and personal interaction).*
Professor Andrew Parker, University of Gloucestershire, said,
“This research clearly demonstrates the benefits of the Young Leaders Award both for the young people who take part and for their schools and communities. Survey and focus group data from over 200 participants highlights the value of the Award in terms of personal, social and educational development and shows the positive impact that social action initiatives can have on young people’s lives. Interviews with teachers also revealed the numerous benefits which the YLA offers in terms of pupil confidence, resilience and self-awareness and the potential of the Award to enthuse disengaged learners.”
Barry Dodd, Chair of the York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Enterprise Partnershipsaid,
“It is a no brainer for businesses and community leaders to get behind this important fundraising initiative. We need to support a generation of children and young people not only to make a difference in their communities today, but also for when they leave school. Background and social class are still predictors of life success. Developing strong leaders can help narrow the social class divide and create a kinder and more resilient generation.”
Bear Grylls, supporter of the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust said,
“I’m very proud to support the Archbishop’s work in schools. With the heart and spirit of the Youth Trust’s Young Leaders Award, young people thrive and that is always incredible to see.”