Today marks #iwillpledge day, so we’re taking the time to think about the ways that we are encouraging young people to develop their voices and become the best they can be. This year we set out four pledges that we are working everyday to achieve:
- By 2020, engage over 1,500 young people from over 100 youth organisations across London in social action and leadership programmes, making efforts to reach out and involve reluctant young people and those who might not otherwise get involved in youth social action
- Provide a triple-benefit through participation in our social action programmes: develop the skills of young people, create more cohesive communities and equipping grassroots youth organisations to increase capacity and stability
- Strengthen and empower the collective voice of young Londoners to create positive change across the capital, through our youth board Dare London, the use of peer researchers and the encouragement of effective youth participation throughout our membership
- Facilitate a network of good practice and support for organisations looking to develop more inclusive social action and projects run by disabled and non-disabled young people together and share stories of diverse groups of young people making a difference
In delivering these, we know we can empower young people living in London to make a tangible difference. YouthLeads is one of our newest youth leadership programmes, supported by the Big Lottery Fund. It enables young people in some of the most deprived boroughs in London to develop the life skills they tell us they need the most. In turn this helps young people who may not usually get involved in social action projects. In doing so, we aim to increase their participation in positive activities with their local youth organisation.
This year four of our members have taken part in YouthLeads across Haringey, Enfield and Waltham Forest. Over the course of the YouthLeads programme young leaders from each participating organisation attended a community mapping and project development residential, pitched their plans to a panel of judges, delivered their project with others from their club and finally attended a second residential focused on gaining their Youth Leadership Level 1 accreditation.
Member focus: Haringey Shed
Haringey Shed, an inclusive theatre and performing arts company who provide activities for children and young people, has been one of the London Youth members involved in the programme this year. At the beginning of the year a core group of four young people was involved in a residential at Woodrow High House. During this they spent time reflecting on the challenges for young people living in their local area, coming up with a number of ideas surrounding these. At the pitch, the group confidently and creatively presented their idea for a film about their local area and were awarded £700.
Having successfully pitched for the funding, they went back to Haringey Shed and recruited a further four young people, each one being tasked with directing and producing a short video on a specific topic. The core group then spent time with each member of their team providing certificates for their participation, as well as offering them feedback which was the perfect opportunity to use their leadership skills! This helped to engage young people who may not have been involved with a social action project previously.
This is just one example of a number of ways we’re working to ensure young Londoners are empowered to stand up, have their voices heard, and get involved in social action.
Make sure you Tweet your pledge using #iwillpledge and follow along with #YouthLeads for more updates about the journey!