November saw young people from the County Council’s VOXY group take part in our Young Leaders Programme residential. During the weekend they participated in workshops and team activities developing their leadership skills and putting them en-route route to gaining a formal Leadership Skills qualification.

The two-day residential saw ten young people tackle high ropes, bushcraft and climbing walls, amongst other challenges. They faced their fears, discussed issues faced by their generation, and supported each other through various challenges, while learning about leadership and teamwork. Team activities were broken up by workshops on different leadership theories, effective feedback, and coping with stress, to name just a few. Newly-learnt skills were then put into practice through numerous team tasks. Each young person had a chance to lead and was supported by the dedicated facilitators and assisting staff.

The young people all worked really hard to learn about the different aspects of leadership and team work including; communication skills, time management and prioritisation, stress management and delegation skills, I was particularly impressed by the support and encouragement they gave one another throughout the weekend. Hayley Reynolds, Young Leaders Programme Facilitator

Oxfordshire Youth’s Young Leaders Programme aims to provide young people with the opportunities to be the best they can be and support them in the transition to adulthood. Despite employability skills being high on the list of current issues for young people, a report published in 2017, by Youth Employment UK,  found that young people struggle with identifying what those skills are, and how to develop them. In line with those findings, Oxfordshire Youth has developed the innovative Young Leaders Programme, which allows young people to learn and develop those skills in a supportive and safe environment, whilst gaining a Level 2 Award in Leadership and Teamwork Skills.

Investing in opportunities for young people to develop an understanding of ‘self’, understanding the skills and abilities they have and the contribution they can make, is essential to building young people’s confidence, sense of purpose and ability to shape and influence the world around them. Jodie Lloyd-Jones, CEO of Oxfordshire Youth

This opportunity was provided to the youth-led council by the partnership between Oxfordshire Youth, Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.