“I learned the skills to encourage others. It was about creating a vision for my team, and the programme helped us to find solutions and change the way we think.”
Reece, West London College student
A new partnership between Groundwork London and the Berkeley Foundation yesterday celebrated the first graduates from the Youth Leadership Programme, at a ceremony held at West London College.
Jobs in the green economy could see a huge boost in the next ten years, but only if young people are equipped with the skills that these new roles will require.
This programme empowers young people with the knowledge and tools they need to become effective advocates and leaders. It helps young people channel their energy, creativity and skills into improving their neighbourhoods, with all the benefits that can bring for their communities - from better health and wellbeing to reducing air pollution and boosting biodiversity.
The partnership provides funding for a 14-week programme, which incorporates weekly leadership skills workshops, social action planning, and a leadership residential. Over the course of the three years, the programme aims to engage 264 young people aged 16-19, building vital skills for the future.
The young people from Hammersmith & Fulham, Barnet and Enfield developed a range of green social action projects, exploring subjects like fast fashion, cost of living crisis, energy conservation, and growth of digital banking.
Participants from Masbro Youth Club in Hammersmith are turning the outside space at the centre into a haven for wildlife. Young people from CONEL (College of North East London), which has no outside green space, brought nature into the college grounds with plants and floral displays.
Esmae, who was part of the first cohort commented:
“I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity of learning new things every Friday. I especially enjoy the confidence and public speaking sessions because it allowed me to open up to my fears and find new ways to conquer them.
Our teacher told us to list things we think might be holding us back from success, and as I did it I found it really helped open my mind and give me confidence towards success.”
Rob Perrins, Chair of the Berkeley Foundation, and CEO of Berkeley Group, said:
“This is the first time we have made a significant investment into a partnership that is explicitly focused on developing a new, diverse, generation of young leaders.
This new initiative with Groundwork London shows how empowering young people can make a real difference to places and communities. The innovation and social action projects we have seen are inspiring, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for these young people.”
Shabaz Ferozdin, Youth Manager, Groundwork London, added:
"This partnership allows us to do what we do best: facilitating young adults on their paths to self-improvement and helping them reach their full potential.
We are committed to working with young adults to support their journey into leadership, recognising each and every participant has agency, power and ability to achieve, becoming competent and self-reflective leaders of tomorrow. We believe by doing so, we make our communities stronger and promote a conscientious society.
This leadership and social action programme is a chance for young adults to enhance valuable life skills and gain invaluable practical leadership experience. This involves opportunities to plan and deliver projects that have meaning to them within their community. We are very proud of the achievement made by the first cohort of this programme."
Groundwork London’s Youth team works with young people so they can have a stronger voice within their local community, helping them to express themselves on issues that affect them and their futures. Groundwork London works in supportive and creative ways to encourage young people make the most of their education, improve their wellbeing, coach them towards new opportunities and to be the best they can be.