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YCAG regular Anna excels as part of Inclusive Leadership Programme

TWCP has recently supported young people it works with as part of the Unified Action Programme, which aims to promote shared values among people of all backgrounds through sustainable social integration and meaningful civic participation. The programme has been designed to promote understanding and shared values between and within faith and ethnic communities, and other communities, which form a part of civil society.

The focus is on supporting young people aged 14-25 years old to become Unified Action Ambassadors, inclusive leaders who focus on empowering future generations; connecting communities by promoting understanding and shared values; achieving greater diversity in the governance of sport and broader civil society; standing united against all forms of hate and most importantly giving young people a platform to have their views heard by decision makers. It is delivered jointly by Youth Sport Trust, Sporting Equals and 2-3 Degrees and funded by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Unified Action Ambassadors believe in a society where no one feels excluded, left behind or that they are just standing on the side lines.

Jamie from TWCP has been running the Young Citizen Action Group (YCAG) at Riverside School since TWCP first began back in late 2017 and Anna, one of the Unified Action programme participants, has been one of the most committed members, attending almost every session since she first joined Riverside School in Year 7. He commented:

“It’s been great to have Anna involved as part of this programme. She attended all of the online training sessions in the evening and was confident enough to speak in front of all of the programme attendees at the final celebration event. I’ve seen Anna’s confidence and leadership skills skyrocket during her time on the programme. She has recorded video messages to local community groups, to the entire student body of her school and taken proactive steps in meeting with Riverside Primary School parents to help promote involvement in the new Barking Food Forest site next to Riverside Campus”.

Jamie Kesten, Senior Community Organiser (Thames Ward Community Project)

As one of the youngest participants in the programme Anna was particularly impressive in the strides she took as an inclusive leader and the confidence and passion she has shown, which has been noted by her athlete mentor, Vernon Samuels, a former Olympic Triple Jumper:

It’s been an absolute pleasure to connect with Anna as her Athlete Mentor and as the youngest young leader involved in the Unified Action programme. Anna wasn’t intimidated by the fact that the age spread of participants went all the way to 25 year olds! Nor was she daunted by a lack of peer support when the two other young people involved in the programme as part of the Thames Ward Community Project were unable to continue.

Anna has shown week after week of the programme a steely resilience and determination that shows she is a young leader on a mission to improve the quality of life for her community – and especially for the pupils of her local primary school where Anna’s hard work and influence as a leader will facilitate access and engagement with the new Barking Food Forest, ensuring it is an inclusive and accessible space for members of the primary school and their families to enjoy along with the wider community.

Despite tight deadlines and a big to do list, Anna refuses to be intimidated by the size of the task at hand. With her humble and articulate approach, Anna draws on available support and expertise to help carry forward her dream of the community garden space into reality.

Vernon Samuels, Athlete Mentor & Ambassador for the Unified Action Programme