Young Leaders from West Heslerton CE Primary School were delighted to meet Archbishop John Sentamu on 8th June, and share with him all that they had achieved through taking part in the Young Leaders Award this year.
The Archbishop said,
“It has been amazing to hear from the pupils at Heslerton School about all they have been doing as part of their Young Leaders Award. It is wonderful that the children have seen a need and responded in such a positive way. The Young Leaders Award is enabling and empowering young people to reach out to their communities and this is something that I hope they will build on throughout their lives, going on to exercise their right to vote and making changes where they can make a difference for others. Who knows, some may become MPs in the future!”
The Year 3 – Year 6 pupils reflected on the needs in their community by inviting local older residents to their school share their views. They found that the biggest way that they could help their community would be to provide opportunities for older residents to be more social and less isolated. Following this the pupils embarked on what has become a wonderful ongoing project to bless their community. They organised monthly ‘Generation Teas’ inviting over 55s to meet for afternoon tea and activities. Each event had a topic to focus discussion, suggested by the children and residents, including harvest, board games, shopping online, fair trade and gardening. Playing the game bananagrams has been particularly popular!
Alongside these events the Young Leaders also decided to use the gardening knowledge they had gained to plant a flower bed at Scampton Gardens, a few miles away from their village. They then organised a bus trip, funded by a grant, to take the residents to see the gardens together with them. Looking forward they plan to maintain the relationships built up by planning further regular events with the residents.
Rachel Wells, Head teacher, explained
“Pupils have learnt so much about themselves, their neighbours and their community over the course of this year. They have fully embraced the idea of ‘be the change you want to see”.
Pupils from age 7 to 11 have given so much of themselves and found respect and friendship from their stewardship. Generation teas have become a regular event that everyone looks forward to. They have created a legacy that is valued by all. The Archbishop of York’s Young Leader Award has shown us all the value of community.
Rozy Brian, Strategic Lead for Primary Awards, said;
“The pupils have put a great deal of time and energy into their project, have been a real blessing to their community and have brought together different generations in a very positive way. The project really helped the pupils to ‘be the change they want to see’ and will have a meaningful legacy in their community.”
To date the Youth Trust have enrolled over 450 Primary and Secondary schools to the Young Leaders Awards, empowering some 50,000 young people to put leadership into action and make a difference in other people's lives through acts of service and community volunteering.