A new youth programme designed to get young people involved in social action projects and make a positive difference in their community has recruited 45 pupils from a local school in March.
The year 8 pupils from Neale Wade Academy have joined a community ambassador programme set up by 20Twenty Productions, a March-based organisation that uses creative solutions to inspire and empower children and young people. It is funded by a £10,000 grant from Clarion Futures, the charitable foundation of Clarion Housing Group.
Since the programme’s launch in April, the Community Ambassadors have been involved in a wide-range of initiatives, including:
- Promoting recycling in partnership with Fenland District Council’s environmental team;
- Bicycle security tagging with local PCSOs;
- Painting over 300 children’s faces at the National Play Day event at The Spinney adventure playground in Wisbech;
- Planting a sensory garden for residents with dementia at Aria Court Care Home in March; and
- Playing games and doing crafts with elderly residents at Clarion Housing’s Bradshaw Court sheltered housing scheme.
Next month, the group will be hosting a social action and youth voice conference thanks to additional funding from the Cambridgeshire Community Fund. On 5th October at the Oliver Cromwell Hotel, the ‘Make a Difference’ conference will be attended by 60 year 8 and year 9 pupils, with the hope of inspiring more young people to engage positively in community action. Speakers are set to include a UK youth ambassador from Peterborough, a Clarion Futures national ambassador and a previous chair of Fenland Youth District Council.
Nationally, Clarion Futures supports 21 community ambassador programmes across the country.
Katherine Nightingale from 20Twenty Productions said:
“The response to our community ambassador programme from the young people was fantastic.
“Our initial target was only to get 10 young people so we are so thrilled to have such an engaged group who give up their time on a weekly basis to meet with us”.
Matt Parsonage, Head of Communities at Clarion Futures, said:
“The benefits of community ambassador programmes are extraordinary for young people and their communities.
“It’s brilliant to see how enthusiastically the 20Twenty Productions team have thrown themselves into making a positive difference in March, and I can’t wait to see what else they achieve.”