Oxfordshire Youth’s Young Leader graduation event took place in the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium at Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, Mansfield College on 9th July. The event recognised the achievement of 30 young people who had successfully completed the Young Leaders programme. The event was attended by the young graduates along with their family and friends.

Brian Buchan, Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Oxfordshire, presented the awards and gave a short speech on the importance of developing ‘soft’ skills. Talking specifically about the Young Leaders course, he said, “To have the opportunity to develop skills around leadership, communication and resilience at this stage of their life is incredibly valuable.”

Two of the graduates, Tara Paxton-Doggett and Will Kent, also spoke about their experiences on the programme. According to Will, “The course was a great opportunity to work on leadership, teamwork and communications skills, and also a great chance to make new friends. All of us on our group are still friends today.”

Jodie Lloyd-Jones, our CEO, talked about the programme and the wider role the charity plays in supporting the youth sector. She also read an inspiring statement from Richard Venables, one of our trustees and former High Sheriff, who had met some of young people when he visited one of the residentials.

The Young Leaders Programme is a Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills, and is accredited by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM). The programme includes a 2-day, 2-night residential, where young people take part in activities such as raft building and rock climbing, while undertaking leadership workshops and completing a log book of their work. After the weekend away, the participants are asked to go back to their youth groups, communities, work places or schools and run an activity or take responsibility for something new. Due to its unique combination of experiential learning and accessible assessment tools, young people of all abilities and backgrounds can achieve the qualification.

There are still a few spots left for our next residential on 26th – 28th July 2019. If you are interested in attending, please contact us before 17th July so you can also join the introduction session where you will get to meet the other course participants. If you cannot attend this session, we have more events scheduled later in the year.