School Story: Visiting Parliament, Meeting Holocaust Survivors and Supporting Care Homes

December 16, 2021
School Story: Visiting Parliament, Meeting Holocaust Survivors and Supporting Care Homes

Students from Bingley Grammar School have been running the Young Leaders Award for the past three years with Year 7 pupils.  

The Young Leaders Award is a fully resourced leadership and character education programme, designed by the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, to be delivered by teaching staff within the classroom. The Award has empowered over 100,000 pupils from 850 schools to learn and practice key leadership skills and character virtues and to transform their communities through social action.  

Part of the KS3 Young Leaders Award encourages pupils to think about what they are passionate about, and how they want to ‘be the change they want to see’ in their communities. While taking part in the Award, one student leader from Bingley Grammar developed a passion for politics and wanted to share this with other Young Leaders. Through carrying out a social action project to help the elderly at Thompson Court Care Home, he met representatives from the local MP's office and took the opportunity to engage with them. Impressed by his commitment, communication and interest in bringing about change, he was offered an apprenticeship in their office. 

During the apprenticeship, he took part in debates, went canvasing, studied the news and became aware of local issues within his community. As a result, he organised a trip for other pupils to visit the Houses of Parliament, where they met the Head of Diversity and Inclusion for the Houses of Commons and had a tour of the Houses of Parliament. 

“The aim was to inspire people, wether through politics, the parliamentary process,architecture, art or the history of the building.”  

This year’s cohort of Young Leaders also met some inspiring people including Arek Hersh, a World War II Holocaust survivor. Arek, who was in Auschwitz for a period of time, visited pupils who were taking part in the Young Leaders Award to inspire them, through his story of struggle, to stand up for what they believe in. 

During Arek’s visit to Bingley Grammar, a Key Stage 3 Young Leader welcomed him with a speech. 

“Your story is so inspiring. Although you have struggled, you have not given up and your torch is still shining brightly. We now understand how genocide affects the world and we will stand together to stop any more from happening.” 

The Young Leaders shared with Arek about what they have been doing in the community through the Young Leaders Award, including regular visits to a local care home, building friendships with the residents and a sponsored readathon.  

“It has helped us learn about equality and has built our teamwork and resilience.”  

These pupils have put in huge effort to develop their leadership skills for their Young Leaders Award. Their dedication to learning about the lives of inspirational people, applying their example to support their local communities and taking a stand for a brighter future is truly encouraging. A huge well done to these Young Leaders! 

Watch the pupils sharing their story below.

Find out more about the Young Leaders Award.

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