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Youth Ambassador project helps under 16s develop leadership

Published Friday 5 July 2019 at 9:40

A programme to empower under 16s to work with others on projects to improve their neighbourhoods has launched in Blackburn with Darwen.

The first Youth Ambassador programme is bringing young people from across the borough together for weekly sessions at Blackburn Youth Zone.

30 young people from across Blackburn with Darwen have signed up to the 10 week programme that aims to empower them to make a difference through social action projects.

The Youth Ambassador programme offers young people aged 12 to 16 a once in a lifetime opportunity. Funded through Blackburn with Darwen’s Our Community, Our Future social integration programme, it aims to provide young people with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills to become more involved in their community through social integration and social action.

The 10 week programme, which includes a two night teambuilding residential, is being delivered by a broad range of partners from across the borough who offer a range of skills, knowledge and expertise: Blackburn Youth Zone, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, BwD Young People’s Services, Healthy Living, IMO, One Voice Blackburn and Child Action North West.

Hannah Allen, Chief Executive of Blackburn Youth Zone, said:

At Blackburn Youth Zone integration is one of our core values and something we embed into everything we do. We provide a safe space where young people can come together to take part in focused activities such as the Youth Ambassadors project.

We are really pleased that this project has allowed us to work with a whole range of partners from across BwD who all have the same vision of developing our leaders of tomorrow. We are excited to see the project grow and to see the difference these young people make to their communities.

The Youth Ambassador project is being delivered on behalf of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and funded through the borough’s social integration programme. Our Community, Our Future is a three year programme which brings together a wide range of local partners working together to strengthen relationships between people from different backgrounds, to help the borough become a place where diversity is valued, and where people’s faith and cultures are understood and respected.

Councillor Mohammed Khan, Leader of Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, said:

Blackburn with Darwen has one of the largest populations of young people in Europe. Recognising that involving young people is vital to successful integration, we ensured that the Our Community, Our Future programme has a strong focus on this age group. They are the future of our borough and it’s important that we provide them with opportunities to come together outside of school and their local communities.

By working together through the Youth Ambassador programme, they will develop the skills and capabilities they need to work together to help make our borough stronger. The programme is a fantastic personal development opportunity for the borough’s young people, as well as a key part of our social integration plans.

The Youth Ambassador project will run six times throughout the year – the next group starts on Saturday 13 July and will run on Saturday mornings at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust.

For more information on the Youth Ambassador Project or to sign up, contact Blackburn Youth Zone on enquiries@blackburnyz.org or (01254) 292000.

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