Through the Young Leaders Award pupils of all ages are challenged to put their leadership into action as individuals and complete personal challenges to show kindness, help others and make a difference to their communities.
At KS1 and KS2 pupils choose from a grid of simple challenges to be completed at home or in school. These include donating books or toys to a charity shop, cooking a meal for their family or offering to wash their neighbour’s car. Pupils also have the chance to ‘invent their own’ personal challenge using their initiative and creativity to plan an action to help a cause they care about.
For example, pupils often take on personal fundraising challenges to raise money to support charities that are important to them or rally family and friends to support foodbanks or to recycle more.
These challenges can really motivate pupils to look out for ways to help others and to try as many challenges as they can, building positive habits of helping others for the future.
“Quite a number of our children gave parcels to our local food bank. This has continued with some of our children and their families giving each week now to the foodbank. A lot of the children began to think about how busy mum, dad and grandparents are after showing acts of kindness at home. They have begun to be more helpful on a regular basis, which has been good to hear about.”
KS1 YLA Teacher
One KS1 pupil from Holy Trinity First School, Berwick upon Tweed completed a 60 mile dog walk, walking 2 miles each day for a month, to raise over £200 for a cancer charity.
KS2 pupil, Darcie, from St Thomas’ C of E Primary Academy, Lincolnshire, decided to use her own money to buy biscuits for a local care home to show kindness to the elderly residents there.
Lewis, a KS2 young leader from Holy Trinity Primary School in Halifax, raised an amazing £2000 for two charities by organising a football tournament. His efforts supported the charities ‘Mission with a Vision’ and ‘Andy’s Man Club’.
Lewis shares his story in the video below.
KS3 Young Leaders are also challenged to take on three personal projects to ‘be the change they want to see’ in their community.
Jonathan, a KS3 pupil from Malton School organised a collection of 152 pairs of glasses to donate to the charity ‘Vision Aid Overseas’. He said:
“...just like any other charity Vision Aid Oversea needs donations and support from members of the public. This enables them to help those in need and allows others to have a life more similar to ours. We are lucky, some others are not, so everyone needs to play their part. Whether it is giving a donation or giving a helping hand, it will allow the charity and those who the charity is helping to thrive.”
Another KS3 pupil, Emily, from Bury Church of England High School, having learnt about the issue of period poverty, organised a cake sale, and with the money raised, purchased sanitary products to donate to ‘The Red Box Project’ in Bury. Emily’s donations helped support girls in her area who were unable to afford these products.
These personal challenges help children and young people to appreciate first-hand how small acts of kindness every day can make a big difference to others. They empower them to grow in confidence and independence and give them a voice to speak out, take action and ‘be the change they want to see’.
"I learnt that one person can make a difference. It felt like I could change someone's day by just doing one act of kindness."
KS2 Young Leader