And just like that, our summer 2021 Young Leaders programme has drawn to a close! The last four weeks have zoomed by, full of activities for Power2’s young people across London and the North-West. 

After getting to know each other and setting some ground rules, our Young Leaders got stuck into a variety of activities. In week 1 the North-West office kicked off a project with Tameside Council on getting physical outdoors in the community. The ‘Playbox’ project aims to get greater Manchester families active through providing a lending library of activity equipment in local parks. Our Young Leaders were acting as consultants: in the first week they used a small grant from Tameside Council to buy and test sports equipment, thinking about what they might like to see in the future playboxes.

London and North-West Young Leaders then joined forces over Zoom on Wednesday for a ‘Hearts and Crafts’ workshop. They had a great time getting creative in a wellbeing-focussed session. 

We rounded off the week with kayaking trips! The North-West office went to the Water Adventure Centre, Droylsden, and London to Laburnum Boat Club, Hackney. The Young Leaders were great at not falling in – unfortunately the same can’t be said for our facilitator, Mark! 

In week 2, the Young Leaders came together again for a film night, watching ‘Black Widow’ over Zoom. They then went to their respective offices for ‘Power2U’, a day about healthy relationships, self-esteem, and resilience. The Young Leaders made stress balls as a way of learning about developing and recognising coping mechanisms, and took part in workshops about building a resilience toolkit and understanding healthy relationships.   

The Playbox project also continued. After spending their first session thinking about what equipment should be in the playboxes, this week the North-West Young Leaders took to a park to survey members of the public about what they would like to use. We were so proud of the confidence our young people showed and how well they communicated with the public. 

Week three was all about the arts! This week the Young Leaders started off on their journeys towards achieving their Bronze Arts Awards, a qualification that encourages young people aged 11-25 to engage with the arts in a range of ways.

In London the Young Leaders went to see ‘Bagdad Café' at the Old Vic Theatre, while in the North-West there was a focus on film; they saw ‘Space Jam’ at the Cineworld in Ashton-under-Lyne and afterwards discussed film industry careers.

On Friday our North-West Young Leaders concluded their Playbox project by presenting their findings to Tameside Council. As Power2 Facilitator Christina said, “They smashed it!” 

Population Health were so impressed! At the end of the meeting, Dr Jeanelle de Gruchy, Director of Population Heath at Tameside Council and President of the Association of Directors of Public Health (UK) video called in to thank the Young Leaders. Perfect end to a great project!” 

In the final week the Young Leaders got their competitive sides out to see who could bag the most landmarks in our city scavenger hunts.

Congratulations to Team Amy in London and Team Lou in the North-West, our respective victors! 

Finally, on Friday there was a celebration of all the Young Leaders’ hard work over the summer, with a party at each of our offices, where Young Leaders let off steam and were awarded certificates for their achievements over the summer. 

Thanks so much to the Young Leaders team – Amy, Mark, Christina, and Will – for organising such an amazing programme of activities, and to our volunteers Luke and Rahul who provided a massive amount of help across the summer. 

Young Leaders is back on 13 September! If you or a young person you know would like to be a part of it, click here to sign up.