Action4Youth is here for all young people, making a real difference to their futures. With a variety of programmes, we’re here as a vital safety net, a springboard toward realising dreams as well as a voice from and for the young.
This month the theme of ‘long lasting impact’ shines through: From our inspiring trustees who launched an appeal to build a better future for thousands of young people; to students on The Inspiration Programme encouraging their schools to make sustainable improvement with recycling. Plus, of course our amazing A4Y running team which continues to pound the streets to make a difference to young people’s lives.
We say thank you to 10 inspiring children from New Bradwell School (pictured above) for sharing their memories one year on from their time at our outdoor education centre. These remarkable Year 3 students are featuring in the Spring edition of The School Trip magazine! We can’t wait for publication day. Thousands of schools nationally will get to hear their memories including Trixie (aged 8):
“You’re waiting for your turn and it’s getting closer, so you just get more and more nervous. It’s all about teamwork, helping other people and working together. It shows you that you can’t do everything on your own and it’s all about facing your fears”.
Exciting plans ahead!
Redevelopment of The Caldecotte Xperience
Caldecotte Xperience delivers outstanding, accessible outdoor learning and adventure activities which benefit around 12,000 young people each year. Hidden in hundreds of trees on the shore of a 70-acre lake in Milton Keynes, the outdoor education centre is changing children’s lives visit by visit. The Caldecotte Xperience offers a huge number of land and water activities with residential stays or day trips.
On 13th March our trustees announced the launch of a new £1.4million appeal that will change the lives of thousands of young people. The Caldecotte Xperience will be remodeled to create an accessible state-of-the-art centre. This inspiring safe space will offer a vibrant and adventurous platform for our activities.
Rather than knock down the 30 year old building, we’re radically remodeling into a sustainable and fully-accessible centre for use all year round. This is essential for increasing our offer to all young people, especially those with special needs and disabilities.
We can progress swiftly once the funding target has been reached so works would begin in autumn 2024 with the aim to be completed in spring 2025, ready for the busy summer months, with minimum disruption to current operations.
“This exciting and vital regional project will open up the exceptional Caldecotte Xperience to many more young people by increasing accessibility across the whole site. It will give opportunity for all to taste adventure and experience the transformational qualities which participation affords.” Countess Howe, A4Y President
“We need your support in reaching our fundraising target” Graeme Shankland, Chair of Capital Appeal
To support our project and to bring adventure, challenge and more learning to young people, please donate online.
Other ways to donate:
BACS – Action4Youth, account number 00490248, sort code 30-90-38, ref. TCXAppeal
Cheque – Payable to Action4Youth, ref TCXAppeal on the back and post to Action4Youth, Momentus, 5 Smeaton Close, Aylesbury, HP19 8UN
Phone – Please call 0300 003 2334
Inspiring Sustainable Change
Three groups of students on The Inspiration Programme were inspired after visits to the Greatmoor Energy from Waste Plant. Moved by learning how 345,000 tons of non-recycled waste a year can be converted into 25 megawatts of electricity, they started to look closer to home at their own recycling habits and carbon footprint. Saddened by the overwhelming use of single-use plastics and the dangers they create to the planet, each group of students wanted to see action.
Aylesbury Vale Academy (pictured above) sent compelling letters to the Headteacher with the challenge of becoming a plastic free school. Staff were on board but there were practical considerations as well as culture change.
Working alongside the Headteacher, they explored what that could mean in practice including whose hearts and minds they would have to win over. The determined students started to self-organise their campaign. We can’t wait to see how they get on.
Bridge Academy realised a huge barrier was the lack of understanding around how to recycle. They bought new recycling bins for the school but also created their own posters to ensure everyone could change their habits both at school and at home.
Cottesloe School (pictured below) noticed that although their recycling system was good it missed soft plastics like crisps packaging. They set about researching how to make a difference and even contacted the local supermarket to support them with this challenge.
Tracy Palmer, The Inspiration Programme Manager, couldn’t believe the passion from the students:
“The environment is something young people are very concerned about. I’m delighted that our sessions are not only looking at careers in a new way but generating a passion for action – it looks like we have lots of emerging leaders developing their skills and determined to make a difference both now and in the future.”
Time is running out!
Existing members will have received an email for renewal and of course, new members are always welcome.
Member support covers everything from free DBS checks (worth over £560), subsidised training, support with resources, policies and signposting and more – there’s nothing our Training Officer/ Membership Co-ordinator, Sarah (pictured above) can’t find out!
Training is something that those working with young people regularly request. From the essentials, such as an introduction to youth work and safeguarding, through to topics that workers are increasingly concerned about. For example, managing challenging people and exploring identity. It is critical that those working with young people have a safe place to learn, explore and share experiences together.
One of our valued members states “We value our membership; it helps us stay connected and updated on the essentials – great value for money.”
Things you may have missed…
If you were tuned into our socials this month you will have seen we were at The Bucks Skills Show where we had the pleasure of meeting 4,700 school students from 30 schools. We talked to young people about careers in the charity and youth sector. We loved hearing so many young people reflect on how A4Y’s programmes had inspired them over the years. Louis, aged 15 (pictured left), rushed over to us with his friends to share a memory of The Caldecotte Xperience 4 years ago:
“I love you guys, it was such a cool place. Paddleboarding was my favourite! It was really good experience and it’s made me think I might like to do that for a job” – we’ll have you as a junior instructor anytime Louis!
Young people at The Junction in High Wycombe got to experience a red carpet premiere! In a new approach to anti-social behaviour Action4Youth partnered with Cineworld for a free screening of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Manager Glenn Goodwill (pictured right) was inspired to screen one of this year’s biggest releases following conversations with The Junction youth club. The team understand the issues bored and disengaged young people can undertake. Young people loved the screening and Ayo, The Junction’s manager, is looking forward to further collaboration:
“It’s good for us to work positively together with organisations like the cinema to encourage young people to enjoy what High Wycombe offers us all as a community, and to see how we can all support each other to appreciate life here.”
Our inspiring A4Y runners
We are incredibly proud of our 10k, half marathon and marathon runners who are going the extra (26.2) mile(s!) in the MK marathon in April to make a difference to young people’s lives.
We have teams from NHBC and Alexander and Co. as well individuals including our inspiring Chair David Teasdale. He’s making it a family trip with his wife Cathy running too, both pictured above. If you would like to sponsor David and Cathy you can donate below.