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City Learning Trust encourages youth social action in Stoke-on-Trent

Representatives from a national campaign to promote youth social action are coming to Stoke-on-Trent this week as part of #iwillWeek.

Rania Marandos, Deputy Chief Executive of Step Up To Serve, said: “The #iwill campaign is a UK-wide initiative that aims to make social action part of life for as many 10 to 20 year-olds as possible by the year 2020.

“Through collaboration and partnership we are spreading the word about the benefits of youth social action, working to embed it in the journey of young people and create fresh opportunities for participation.

“The City Learning Trust has supported the #iwill campaign since its inception in 2013. I’m really looking forward to visiting Haywood Sixth Form Academy on Friday and meeting some of the young people from Stoke-on-Trent who have already been making a difference in their communities.”

Pupils from Mill Hill Primary Academy will talk about their own experience of community engagement at the event on Friday, focusing on their participation in the Police Cadets Programme, with local Police Community Support Officers.

Sharon Bates, Headteacher at Mill Hill Primary Academy, said: “We are incredibly proud of how the children at Mill Hill actively undertake social action work.”

Michaela Moore, Deputy Headteacher, said: “Children across all year groups at our school enthusiastically share ideas for social action and contribute to planning programmes to support the wider community.”

At the event, representatives from Haywood Sixth Form Academy will also share success stories from its Work Based Learning programme and the wider volunteering and work experience activity of its students.

Mike Whittingham, Deputy Headteacher, said: “In essence, our Work Based Learning programme is long term volunteering. Our students develop employability skills and a much better understanding of the careers that they are interested in and most go on to become apprentices with their employer partner. Some of our students carry out Work Based Learning in health and social care roles, working in care homes, some work with the NHS and some take on community work as part of their role, helping to improve community gardens.

“We also offer our A-Level students the opportunity to volunteer. One of our students is currently volunteering on a weekly basis in the office of Ruth Smeeth MP and many more volunteer with local charities including the Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Alice Charity and the Donna Louise Trust.”

Edward Timpson MP, Minister of State for Vulnerable Children and Families, has sent a video message of support, which will be played at the event on Friday.

Ruth Smeeth MP said: “Communities rise and fall by the talent, energy and engagement of our young people. Every generation picks up where the last left off, and each one, if we’re lucky, leaves things a little better than what came before.

“That’s why the actions of our young people matter to all of us, and why things like the #iwill campaign are so important.

“I’d like to thank all of the young people taking part and I hope that all their hard work pays off, not just for each of them but for the communities they are working to improve.”

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The City Learning Trust benefits all of our children through a shared vision, the highest aspirations and expectations, intelligent deployment of resources and expertise through a collaborative working model and an outward-looking philosophy.

Chris Crook

Headteacher, Smallthorne Primary School