Posts Tagged ‘Young Leaders Programme’
Two years ago, Fran Edwards embarked upon a life-changing journey with the Young Leaders Programme, culminating in being part of the world’s greatest sporting spectacle.
Here, she explains why volunteering has become an important part of her past, present and future…
This summer was one never to be forgotten or equalled. As a member of the Surrey hub of the Young Leaders Programme, I worked alongside an incredible bunch of people to make a positive difference.
Over the past two years, we planned and delivered a number of community team projects and individual challenges that were inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values.
These projects ranged from bringing together different generations via board games and computer games, to creating an Olympic-themed mural on our local high street, with us being lucky enough to have athletes from the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trusthelp us run these events to promote awareness of the London 2012 games.
And the project culminated in a once in a lifetime opportunity of being a Games Maker at London 2012.
A place where magic happens
Walking onto the park on my first morning and seeing the main stadium in all its glory with thousands of people flocking in really brought everything home. I’ve never been emotionally moved by a location like it and probably never will again.
It became so much more than just a location, it became a place where magic happens – and I was lucky enough to be part of it. During the games, I welcomed the public to the park, gave out information & directions, scanned tickets, enthused visitors and generally did everything I could to make sure people had the best day possible.
We met, worked and had fun with an incredible number of hugely talented people including athletes, fellow Games Makers, employees and military who all went out of their way to make a difference. I loved every minute of the games, and it has without a doubt changed my life forever.
My highlights were holding the Gold medal of a French athlete, seeing Tom Daley perform, watching the opening ceremony of the Paralympics as a VIP guest of BP and seeing Usain Bolt and Yohan Blake in the 200m semi-final!
Being part of the greatest sporting event in the world
We all had different expectations and ambitions, but shared one aim; to be part of the biggest and greatest sporting event in the world. Collectively, we made it work better than anyone could have dreamt of. I have never been thanked so much in my entire life.
People were genuinely grateful and appreciative of the work that we were doing on their behalf. During the 2-year programme I have gained confidence and learnt and developed so much including networking, budgeting, event organisation and communication skills.
I am looking forward to my future armed with new confidence, knowledge and skills gained during this extraordinary experience, knowing what can be achieved if you work hard, aim high and grasp every opportunity with enthusiasm and determination.
There is no doubt that volunteering has helped me to achieve my goal of going to university and gain a job as a chalet host for this year’s ski season.
I am going to continue volunteering during my sports degree working with schools and sports clubs in the community and would encourage anyone, of any age to get involved and gain the rewards that volunteering can provide.
London 2012 has launched in style, and we’re proud that young people played a central role in the opening ceremony.
For the past two years vInspired has worked on the London 2012 Young Leaders Programme alongside LOCOG, BP and the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust. Together we provided support for young people to deliver community projects in local areas combined with personal development opportunities and volunteer roles at London 2012.
Below Matt Hutchings, a young leader from the programme, reflects on his experiences…
Sitting watching the Opening ceremony on Friday evening I realised the lengths that the organisers had gone to ensure these games will inspire a generation.
The lighting of the Cauldron by seven young athletes who were chosen by seven Olympic legends is something I will never forget.
It was an opportunity for Young People to shine. Likewise, the London 2012 Young Leaders programme has allowed 100 young people to help change their local areas and apply for a volunteering role at either the Olympic or Paralympic games.
The Olympic legacy may not be crystal clear to everyone – but for me it’s been realised through taking part in such a positive and life-changing experience.
The people I have had the opportunity to meet and work with has been amazing and inspiring; from peers up and down the country to Olympic legends.
I ran projects with local schools; from creating a community mural based on the Olympic and Paralympic values, to running workshops and debates reflecting on what it takes to succeed in any given field.
Without my experience on the Young Leaders programme I would not have attempted to improve my community in such a way.
During the programme I was lucky enough to meet Olympic and Paralympic athletes alike. I was so inspired by the determination and excellence of Paralympic athletes that I decided to apply to be a Games Maker at the Paralympic Games.
Moreover the opportunity has shown me the value of volunteering to the point that I’m now addicted. The opportunity led me to join the vInspired Youth Advisory Board whilst also increasing my leadership involvment in Scouting.
I believe the Games has already inspired young people to be the best they can be, through sport, volunteering or employment.
The true legacy of the Olympics will be the opportunities it has offered to a generation. Opportunities they have taken and will never forget.
The Olympics has changed me. How about you?
Have you been involved directly or indirectly, in London 2012 and have a similar story to share? We’d love to hear them!
How do you feel the Olympics has or will impact on future generations? Share your comments below.
Yesterday, young people from Aberdeen, Hull and London celebrated the completion of their two-year participation in the London 2012 Young Leaders Programme with LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe and double Olympic Champion Jonathan Edwards.
During an inspiring ceremony at the British Museum in London, it was also revealed that as well as being given the opportunity to become London 2012 Games Makers, they would each receive tickets to this summer’s Games!
What is the Young Leaders programme?
The Young Leaders Programme was set up to give 100 young people the opportunity to make a positive change to their lives.
Over the course of two years, young people worked in small teams on community projects such as running a multicultural festival, creating a healthy eating project with primary school children and hosting a “winter wonderland” for terminally ill young people in hospital.
The Young Leaders also received leadership and communication skills training and workshops, with BP employees volunteering as coaches and a host of big name athletes, including Olympians and Paralympians motivating them throughout the programme.
An inspiring journey
One of the Young Leaders Fran, said: “It’s been really emotional being here, just looking back on the whole two years…it’s been such an inspiring journey for us. I’ve met people that I’d stay in contact with for life and wouldn’t have changed it for the world!
“Thanks to vInspired for being such a great help to us. The coordinators have been such great support. We wouldn’t really be here today without you guys. So thank you!”
Another of the Young Leaders, Matt, is also now on the vInspired Youth Advisory Board. But it all began with his experience on the Young Leaders Programme:
“To see how much we’ve changed since our first residential, to some of the great things we’ve done. – it’s amazing. Developing a relationship with my mentor and learning from them, that’s also been great.
“I’m now with vInspired on the YAB – it’s amazing to think that my journey getting here started with this programme.
“I’m hopefully off to uni in September hopefully. This programme’s given me adpatable skills and confidence for things like interviews, that will hopefully help me succeed going forward.”
A huge congratulations to all the Young Leaders from everyone at vInspired!