Five care leavers from Sheffield are celebrating their progress towards becoming young leaders.
The 17 to 20 year-olds have completed a six-month programme, and a four day residential in the Lake District, as part of an effective leadership qualification. Four others were also successful in completing some of the modules that make up the course.
The group’s final task is to organise their own celebration today (Wednesday 24 May) at Star House. Fifty guests, including Sheffield City Council staff, councillors, friends, family and foster carers, will hear them speak about their experience and see a premiere of a video recording their story.
Julie Whiting from Brathay Trust, which helped fund and deliver the programme, said: “We are so proud of these young people. They have worked hard to develop new skills and will be great role models for other youngsters in care throughout Sheffield.
“They can see that their opinions and ideas have shaped this programme resulting in much better tailored support and preparing them for that leadership role. Knowing that adults need their input and will listen to them, has helped their confidence and self-belief.
“The rock climbing challenge, which was part of their residential at Brathay Hall near Ambleside, took them right out of their comfort zone. Their persistence and determination to get the whole group to the top of cliff face brought out new skills and helped them to bond. The whole experience developed teamwork, leadership, communication and group work.
“And some of them are already putting their leadership skills into action by providing a voice for their peers through the Sheffield Care Leavers Union and looking at apprenticeship posts with the council.”
Carly Speechley, Director of Children and Families at Sheffield City Council said:
“This pilot project has given five young people the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence they need to help them achieve their own personal goals.
“We have a real passion and ambition for all our young people to reach their full potential and are keen to encourage more young people to get involved in schemes like this.”