In my first two months working at the Archbishop of York Youth Trust I have been so inspired by the young people I have met and the stories I have heard from schools who are taking part in the Young Leaders Award at Key Stage 2. Pupils have really embraced the challenges of the YLA to find ways to help others and serve their communities.
Year 6 pupils at Rossmere Primary School in Hartlepool organised a non-uniform for their whole school to raise money for a local young boy with cerebral palsy. The class decided that rather than raise money for one of the charities they had researched, they wanted to raise funds to go to the Help Alfie Walk campaign. They were really passionate about helping this local campaign.
Hornsea Community Primary School young leaders have enthusiastically taken on the challenges of the YLA which has seen them partner with several charities and initiatives from donating to their local Foodbank and the Christmas Shoebox Appeal to raising money for Children in Need. They also decided to create some ‘thank you packages’ filled with treats which they presented to representatives from the Hornsea Neighbourhood Police Team and Hornsea Inshore Rescue to thank them for all their work in the community.
I visited Archbishop of York’s Church of England Junior School to meet pupils at the beginning of their journey through the YLA. In just a few weeks the pupils had already achieved so much through their own personal challenges at home. The pupils have completed a range of challenges such as cooking tea for their family, donating clothes to charity shops and making bird feeders for neighbours. One pupil even wrote to the local council about a damaged bin in the village and received a reply and promise of a new bin. They have jumped at the challenge to do small, kind actions for their family or neighbours and are realising that small actions can make a big difference.
Young Leaders at Staindrop Church of England Primary School have just completed their award after a wonderful action project where they organised an elf themed day at their school to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. They raised an amazing £500! I am excited to attend an awards ceremony at Staindrop this week to celebrate all that the pupils have achieved through the Young Leaders Award.
Two months in, I am amazed at all I have seen so far and excited for all that lies ahead in empowering young people to ‘be the change they want to see’.
To date the Archbishop of York Youth Trust have enrolled over 340 primary and secondary schools to the Young Leaders Awards, empowering almost 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.