Young Leaders Programme:
Volunteering for 14-18 year olds
Offers support & training for teenagers who have attended our therapeutic residentials to return as young volunteers.
Young people who were previously vulnerable themselves re-invest in helping younger children with similar difficulties.
Young people develop leadership and teamwork skills but also benefit personally from the recognition, inclusion and trust we invest in them.
Young Leaders are trained volunteers between the ages of 14 and 18, who support and provide role modelling for younger children on our residential projects.
Potential young leaders are identified from children attending our "Thrive Outside" residential projects, but who have reached the maximum age limit (13) to return as children on that project in future years. Those who show leadership potential are invited to become part of our Young Leader programme the following year.
The programme begins with a residential training camp where we develop existing strengths in teamwork, solving problems and staying calm under pressure. We build skills in responding to challenge and getting on with both adults and children. And we talk to young people in sensitive but clear ways about child protection and other new areas of knowledge for them. We often find that young people on the programme have a wealth of talent, insight and skills that have simply been held back by a lack of opportunity or early life histories that have led them not to trust in themselves, or others not to trust in them. We find that by believing in these young people, we begin to unlock real potential.
On successful completion of training, new young leaders are matched into places on our residential summer projects and provided with one to one support as they begin volunteering with us. We are always amazed by the amount young leaders add to projects and we benefit continually from their excellent mediation skills, boundless energy and incredible senses of fun.
The challenge, sense of belonging and acceptance that young leaders find in being afforded trust and responsibility on our projects builds their confidence, develops new skills and gives them an opportunity to get out of London during the summer and spend concentrated time with a pool of adults who believe in them.