Enabling young people to be more involved in their communities has been a growing part of our work over the past couple of years. Developed through our young leaders schemes, we have groups of young people in three communities who are committed to doing things which make their communities a better place.
Groups meet regularly to think and learn together and to plan events. Over the past year these groups have initiated and led 22 different events which is an incredible achievement. These events include community litter picks, a food parcel system at Christmas, two community fun days (with partnership help), a summer scheme for children, gardening help for the elderly, a Yorkshire 3 Peaks fundraising walk, a shoebox appeal for children oversees, a pancake part, a dog chipping event in a local park and two community BBQ’s. Many of these events have been run at little cost, but all have contributed to significantly changing the community.
The huge weight of events has had a significant impact on the wider community. Some events have involved hundreds of community members attending and other have encouraged integration with different generations in small numbers. There have also been some practical outcomes – various community spaces are cleaner, gardens are in a better state and fences are better painted.
Feedback from the young people has shown us the impact this work has.
- Personal confidence and happiness – all the young people involved could identify one thing which had made them happier and more fulfilled and the majority said that felt significantly more confident in other areas of their life.
- New skills – many young people fed back about the fact that they had done things they had never tried before and discovered new skills.
- Sense of belonging – a significant number of young people told us about a greater sense of belonging, of community, and of feeling part of something worthwhile.
This work will be continuing across the coming year so watch out for an event near you run by a passionate (and loud) group of young people!