When we help young people to realise their potential by opening up their hearts and minds to the needs of others, they discover not only invaluable life skills and experience but also the God-given treasures of compassion, patience, self-control, gentleness and a desire for justice. Iâ€™m delighted to say that, through my Youth Trustâ€™s programmes and activities in the north of England, we are helping to raise a generation who are motivated by love and compassion, who display vision and purpose, and who know the importance of living in community. Over this past year, 7784 children and young people took part in 973 days, or 2.6 yearsâ€™ worth, of social action and volunteering projects to achieve their Young Leaders Award. This is really impressive! Well done! In this Review of our year, you will meet some of our young people and read about what they have achieved and what has inspired them. These are just a few examples of young people who are determined to make our world a better place. May I encourage you to join with us too, as with your support we can help to raise up even more young leaders!
The children of Fairfield Primary School in Stock-on-Tees are typical of the young people we meet: ambitious, determined and driven by the great tenet of the Young Leaders Award, “be the change you want to see”. In June 2016, the Archbishop presented 57 of their pupils with their Award. They had undertaken an eclectic series of challenges and raised over £3,000 over the year for Children In Need (a bake sale), the British Heart Foundation (non-uniform day), Cancer Research (Race for Life) and also took part in The Big Leap and The Big Tidy Up for Sport Relief. Their Christmas challenge, however, had a great impact on all of them. They invited residents from the local elderly care home to school for a Christmas party. The
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sang songs and played bingo and each guest was given a Christmas card made by a pupil. Laura Knight, YLA teacher, said, “It was lovely to meet the residents and see the way the children interacted with them. It was also quite sad to find out some of them had no family or plans to celebrate Christmas. Through all of their learning, the children have developed how they can contribute and they have gained a sense of responsibility for others as well as themselves”.
A big part of our local community is a hospice called Overgate that relies on fundraisers and support from the community to raise its £9000-a-day costs. This hospice is very close to our school community with one of our TSA’s being involved with it quite recently due to her ill health. As well, there are links with a child whose grandma passed away there and one of the Year 5 teacher’s uncle volunteers there. The children decided that they would
like to fundraise for Overgate as part of their community project as well as performing at the hospice’s annual garden party. First of all, a speaker from the hospice came in to talk to the children in Year 5 about what the hospice does to help people and how the money they raised would help. Year 5 then fed this information back to the rest of the school through an assembly and suggested that we hold a bun sale at school to raise some money. Year 5 made some buns and ran the sale after school one day and the local newspaper came and printed a story about it! Alongside the buns, they sold pieces of bunting, as the hospice was holding a
competition for children to design bunting that would be displayed at the garden party. From the bun and bunting sale they raised over £180 for the hospice and the children received a letter from the hospice to thank them. The children felt very proud knowing their hard work and efforts had helped to make a difference. Later on in the year the children performed a pop medley and another song at the hospice’s garden party in front of some big crowds! They explained why they were performing and they sang and danced their hearts out and really impressed the crowd! They spoke to many members of the public raising the profile of the Hospice and contributed to the overall total raised that day of around £11,000. Because of this Award, we have been able to develop strong links with the hospice and will hopefully continue to support them in other ways. The children are rightly proud of themselves and, in the various activities they have undertaken throughout the year, they have developed much more of an understanding of the importance of the hospice, the importance of charities and the importance of thinking of and helping others. It has been lovely to see all the children shine throughout the award!
On a very cold and windy day in March, pupils from Westview Primary School decided to clean up Brus Beach near their school in Hartlepool. Brus beach is a favourite place for children and families to play in the summer season and the pupils wanted to make it a clean and safe environment for all to enjoy. After the pupils made them aware of their plans, Hartlepool Borough Council provided all of the equipment the pupils needed to complete the clean-up, including bringing the refuse collection team to take away the rubbish afterwards! Miss Wise, the Year 4 class teacher said "The children's enthusiasm and passion for helping their local community has been quite inspiring. They have developed their leadership skills and have been able to apply these to planning our Young Leader's challenges. They even managed to raise awareness of their project through a school assembly in order to encourage others within school to help improve their local community.” Susan McBride, Neighbourhood Development Officer at Hartlepool Borough Council said; “Working with the children has been an absolute pleasure, they were very clear about their aims and objectives for the project and worked extremely well together to decide how they would achieve their goals. Together we explored how long different types of litter stay around and the effects it can have on the environment and our wildlife.” The project even made an appearance on the Department for Education’s Facebook page as an example of Character Education in action.
In July pupils from Poppleton Road Primary School organised a fun run to raise money for the local food Bank. The children invited Laura Chalmers, Manager of the food bank, to speak to them about poverty in their local area. They were shocked by the sheer numbers of people unable to afford enough food to feed themselves and their families; families living virtually on their doorsteps
and they were inspired to do something to make a difference. “ ”
Eleanor, one of the Young Leaders from Farndon St Peter’s school joined her 101 year old great-grandmother and the other residents of Vale View sheltered housing in Newark for a coffee afternoon. She brought along some homemade cakes to share and sang to them whilst her older brother played along on the guitar. Eleanor spent time talking to the residents and they enjoyed having her (and her brother too)!
Year 6s organised lots of events to raise money for the British Heart Foundation and the Cleft Lip & Palate Association. The events were in memory of Eve, who died unexpectedly in 2012 at the age of seven, following heart surgery at Leeds General Infirmary. Events included a daylong skip-athon, and a ‘Marathon In May’, which saw them run 2km each day. The pupils set themselves a target of £1,000 and had raised £900 of this target prior to their final event - a teddy bear themed day, which was planned entirely by the children and included a number of different activities and stalls for the younger pupils. “
Children from Yearsley Grove Primary School had researched the work of Macmillan Cancer Support for their Award and then came up with a way to thank the nurses for their tireless care of patients on the cancer wards at York District Hospital: they delivered baked treats and serenaded them in the main entrance of the hospital
with adapted versions of Abba's Thank You for the Music and Bon Jovi’s Thank You for Loving Me. “
In March 2016, 86 Year 7 pupils from St Olave’s School headed into the City of York to complete a ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ project. They spent a morning presenting members of the public with hand-made paper flowers and Easter eggs purchased with funds they had raised and their pocket money. difference in an adult’s life, even just a brief moment, by spreading some Andy Falconer, Headmaster at St happiness in a surprising way.” Olave’s said: “Happiness is contagious! The Year 7 pupils wanted to do Dan Finn, Director of the Youth Trust, something for their Young Leaders said “It was inspiring to see these Award that would hopefully make peo- young people full of confidence and ple smile, feel special and spread some interacting with members of the public. happiness. We spend a lot of time in Their acts of kindness were infectious school encouraging and modelling and I saw so many people with smiles kindness, and the strapline of the on their faces as they met and chatted award, ‘Be the change you want to see’, with the students.” has encouraged our 12 year olds to want to make change outside of the school. It’s very empowering for the children to see that they can make a
Louis said: “There are many different parts to gaining this award, one of which is a Personal Volunteering Challenge. I decided to raise money for a local charity close to my heart, which is the Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Nearly 6 years ago my Grandma and Grandad were in a terrible car accident where they were hit head on by an overtaking car. Grandad was really bashed up, but luckily suffered no broken bones. Grandma, however, broke nearly every bone in her body. Ankles, knees, femurs, arms, ribs, vertebrae, sternum...I’m sure you get my drift now. If it hadn’t been for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, Grandma would not be with us today and she has spent the past 6 years learning to walk again. She’s pretty amazing really...and has far more metal than Iron Man! Anyway, as a way of saying thank you to Yorkshire Air Ambulance, I decided to run 100 laps around our school fields which equated to 60km. I completed it in bite size chunks of 20 laps (10km) every night for a week.” Louis managed to raise an incredible £1125.35! What an amazing achievement and example of being the change!
One of the hardest lessons children can learn is that those in great need don’t always live far away. Last winter, students from All Saints Church of England Academy, Ingleby Barwick, made a difference in their community by encouraging shoppers at their local Tesco to donate food for the Trussell Trust food bank. Over two days, 100 Year 8 students collected and packed donations for food parcels for individuals and families who struggle financially over the Christmas season.
180 students completed their Award at Bishop’s Blue Coat C of E High School in Chester this year. Each class carried out a different community project including: hosting a lunch and entertainment for the elderly at a local church; litter picking; cleaning up and gardening at the local bowling green; and supporting a mums and babies’ group. As you know, however, each pupil must complete a personal volunteering challenge as well as a community one. Often, our pupils are inspired by their own experiences and so we hear many touching stories of children giving something back to a charity that has supported them or their family in challenging times. Seb is one of those pupils. He decided to raise money for Shine, a charity that has helped him and his parents for many years. Before he was born, Seb’s parents discovered he has spina bifida. They contacted Shine, whose Support and Development Worker helped them to understand what their future may hold and continues to support them to this day. Seb has raised over £900 by cycling 27 miles on a bike that his Dad has adapted especially for him.
The Archbishop of York led a group of Year 10 and Year 11 The Taizé Community of Ecumenical brothers, mainly Young Leaders from Holy Trinity (Barnsley) and Archbishop Catholic and Protestant, has come together from thirty Holgate’s (York), to Taizé in June 2016.
countries across the world, and is based in the south-west of
Archbishop Sentamu said; “Taizé has a fantastic ministry with France. Every year, over 100,000 young people from around young people from across the globe. My Young Leaders the world make their pilgrimages of trust and reconciliation, Award encourages people to look beyond themselves in the prayer, bible study and communal work.
service of others. To be able to join with young people from more than 100 countries in worship and in learning is an Dan Finn, the Director of the Youth Trust, said; “It is great experience that I pray these young people will never forget. that these young leaders will be joining the Archbishop for In the past 13 years, I have led groups of young people on this Pilgrimage to Taizé. This is the first time that the Youth pilgrimage and each time I have returned feeling blessed, Trust has coordinated a Pilgrimage to Taizé and I’m really inspired by the people I have met and with renewed wonder looking forward to exploring how the students can extend at the goodness of God. It is a wonderful experience. For the some of their learning from the Awards further.” Taizé Community invites us and welcomes us into the Pilgrimage of trust and reconciliation.”
Taizé is full of surprises. You meet new people from all over the world from different countries and cultures. No matter what differences there are, everyone is the same in worship before God. We all have the same goals; to find God and breathe new life into our faith. The kind, caring nature of everyone here makes this gathering feel like a truly communal event. The
different ways to
worship offer a unique
experience and give different perspectives of the Christian faith. Plus, it includes people of different faiths or no faith at all, because Taizé is so
welcoming and inclusive. For example in our bible study group today, one third of our group are Buddhists. To be welcomed into the Taizé community is a huge honour, and it's a privilege to be involved with the work of this community. Silence and reflection are underrated in the modern world, but at Taizé there is the opportunity for silence and reflection, which is encouraged. This allows connection and communion with God during the shared silence, and it gives time for people to encounter God and learn more about how he shapes
us. Time at Taizé helps people discover or rediscover the meaning of their life and find a new vitality. Thomas (15) Young Leader, Holy Trinity Barnsley
Leia Ransley lost her father when she was 3. In four years, she has raised £4000 for a range of good causes, both local and national, and received her Young Leaders Award certificate and a special commendation from the Archbishop of York in the summer of 2016. Leia also won the ‘Young Persons’ Award at the Cornerstone of The Year Community Awards, organised by Newcastle Building Society, her school created an award in her honour and she has presented the “Against All Odds” prize at this year’s U Can Shine Awards. Inspirational.
On Friday 6th June 2016, the small village of Acaster Malbis, near York, was treated to a pop up community café run by Year 7 student Isaac Harris as part of his Young Leaders Award. Isaac had chosen to raise funds for Orchid, a national charity fighting male cancer. Prior to the event Isaac had used the skills he had learnt on the Young Leaders Award to contact local businesses for help. Many donated goods to enable the event to run. He leafleted the village and set up a website about the café, promoting the event through social media. “
Josh decided to support SASH, a charity that prevents youth homelessness. He spent a night sleeping outside alone on his stone patio on some cardboard with only the bare minimum. He wanted the experience to be as close to that of a real homeless youngster so had with him only a small backpack, a sleeping bag and cardboard boxes as his bed and was determined to complete the task whatever the weather. He managed to raise over £760 for the charity as well as being an amazing ambassador for the charity and his school.
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The Young Leaders from Caldew School in Cumbria stepped up to serve their community after the Christmas 2015 flood caused devastation across the local area. The students cleaned up the stadium of Carlisle Football Club, scrubbing off the mess the flooding had caused and re-painting the stands that had been destroyed. Together with the local Forestry Commission, students also built a dam as a flood defence system for a local village.
40 days of Youth Led Action: A Lent series empowering young people to show an act of kindness each day throughout Lent. For 40 days, the Youth Trust Facebooked and tweeted a different challenge and those joining in posted photos of and comments about their random acts with the hashtag #YTaction. The Youth Trust team also undertook different challenges across Lent and filmed them to inspire others to get involved!
#HeroesInOurSchools week took place in June this year. We wanted to thank teachers publicly for all that they do, both seen and unseen, in a year where there has been a significant change in the education system. We contacted six local primary schools to set pupils a secret mission: to nominate their teachers and give us a reason why they think their teacher is a hero. In surprise classroom visits and assemblies, we distributed over 320 â€œteacher survival kitsâ€?, containing everything teachers need to take a break. Thanks everybody and well done!
23 students from Manor CE Academy completed the ‘team work’ module of the Award by delivering activities for residents at the Amarna House Care Home in Acomb, York. Working in collaboration with Attend, a national charity, Manor CE Academy approached the care home with their project. The students put together four activities suitable for a range of care needs, including decorating plant pots and planting seeds for residents’ rooms, decorating and icing cakes, making hot chocolate mousse packs and showing a film in the residents lounge. Izzi Barthow, Lay Chaplain, at Manor CE Academy said: “It has been really good for students to figure out what they need to bring with them and also how to run the activity and talk and communicate with people who are older than them and who also struggle with dementia, so it’s been an excellent opportunity for them.” Jane Fletcher, care home volunteer said: “I think it is a fantastic idea and it is great to see the interaction between the students and residents. They’ve done extremely well and have been really organised, bringing a bit of the outside in for the residents. It is good and insightful for the young people to see life in a care home, something they have perhaps not experienced before”. Beth Wardley, a student said: “We chose for residents to decorate plant pots to plant seeds in to grow in their room. Although there is a garden outside, this is something that we hope they will enjoy looking at in their rooms. It may remind them of this day and what they enjoyed about it.”
Holy Trinity students visited Casa Lumina four times during the week and the students even opted for an extra visit rather than having an afternoon off. They had two parties, visited the park and organised activities such as bracelet making and painting. Casa Albert is a day hospice for children with terminal and life-limiting illnesses, founded by Cry in the Dark to provide the palliative care that was so lacking for children in the area. Cry in the Dark now funds a respite day centre and provides home visits for those children who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses and life-limiting conditions. Students from Holy Trinity ran the day centre for two days and accompanied the nurses on their home visits, taking toys and activities for the children.
In October 2015, 12 students and 2 teachers travelled to Romania to work with the charity, ‘Cry in the Dark’. The charity was born when Steve Cooper visited the Dofteana orphanage in Bachau, Eastern Romania, in 1998 after hearing about the dire conditions children were living in. He witnessed appalling conditions and found 26 children who had been neglected. The Romanian authorities relocated the children to a hospital but the conditions there were worse. This prompted Steve to start Cry in the Dark with the aim of building and staffing an alternative. Two years later, 24 children moved in to Casa Lumina (House of Light), their new, life-long home.
They also took part in a renovation project for a local residents Costica and Maria and their family. They live in desperate poverty in a house with mud walls and mud floors and a roof made of tarpaulin and cardboard. They collect their water from a well and rear animals for meat, which are killed and then cooked in a clay oven outside. The students built a drive to enable Costica’s horse and cart to access their land in the winter. Costica and Maria were moved to tears, thanking God for what the students had done for them. Their reaction made all the hard work worthwhile but it didn’t stop when they returned home: they organised a fundraiser to pay for a tin roof for Costica and Maria and, as part of their advent charity work, they supported Cry in the Dark’s Shoebox Appeal, which sends Christmas shoeboxes to the children they have worked with in Romania. For almost all of the Romanian children it will be the only present they get this Christmas. What an incredible global impact the students made as they sought to be the change.
In July 2016 a team of 5 completed the Trans Pennine Trek to raise money for the Archbishop of York Youth Trust. 2 of the people on the team included George (17) and Josh (17) who both had completed the KS4 Young Leaders Award. The Trek was over 175 miles which they completed over 4 days both cycling and walking and visiting YLA schools along the way. The team managed to raise over £5000 which will go towards a bursary scheme that will enable the Award to be offered and delivered to young people in some of the most deprived areas of the North of England.
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