Students from RDSSP member secondary school, Highfields, in Matlock, took part in a prestigious event at Headingly Carnegie Stadium in Leeds to celebrate and showcase their contribution to the national Get Set to Make a Change (GSTMC) initiative.
Pupils met with Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle and Paralympic wheelchair athlete Hannah Cockroft in recognition for being amongst 7,000 Legacy Leaders across the UK, aged 14-19, who pledged to make their communities better and healthier places to live.
GSTMC – funded by the Big Lottery Fund through its ‘Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive’ campaign – is part of the Get Set youth engagement programme delivered in partnership by the British Olympic Foundation (BOF) and British Paralympic Association (BPA).
Highfields year 11, 12 and 13 students, Sarah Needham, Harry Hurst, Oliver Walden, Annabel MacGregor, Chris Statham, Callum Rose, Grace Pickford, Emily Hancock and Niamh Robertson attended the special event.
The students took part in activities to report back on their projects and worked together with other young people to inspire and come up with ideas for pledges to be made next year.
There were also activities to take part in such as the 100m dash on Mario! Oliver Walden proved very good at that and won the prize for the best student time.
The Highfields girls also took part in a dance routine on the stage which was broadcast live on social media.
Highfields PE teacher and School Sport Coordinator Jayne Allen said: “It was a true red carpet event and I was very proud of the achievements of our Legacy Leaders who had worked so hard and proved themselves at every step of the journey.”
RDSSP Sport Apprentice, Andy Brough who was a Legacy Leader last year, said: “It was a brilliant night to celebrate all we had done and achieved, and was great to share with other schools and see and hear what they had done too.”
Pupils from Highfields are one of 443 schools and youth groups that made over 500 pledges and reached more than 18,000 members of their local communities. The young people organised a range of activities including sports events, working with the elderly, providing sensory gardens for visually-impaired pupils and supporting children in a homeless shelter. The GSTMC initiative will run until March 2014.
Chief Executive of the British Olympic Foundation, Jan Paterson said: “Two years on from London 2012 I am delighted to see so many young people still inspired by the Games and the Olympic Values of excellence, friendship and respect. Get Set to Make a Change has turned inspiration into action by giving young people the opportunity to make an important difference in their own communities. I hope that through the Celebration events the Legacy Leaders continue to be inspired, not only by the Games, but also one another and what they have achieved so far.”
Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, Tim Hollingsworth said: “London 2012 was a fantastic platform for the Paralympic movement and the British public really embraced what Paralympic sport is all about. Get Set to Make a Change has helped us to build on this engagement with young people and further promote the Paralympic Values of determination, inspiration, courage and equality which are epitomized by our athletes and feature at the very heart of this initiative. It’s fantastic that, through Get Set to Make a Change, more than 7,000 Legacy Leaders have made a real difference in their communities and developed valuable life skills at the same time. Our Get Set youth engagement programme, in partnership with the BOF, will continue to keep the spirit of 2012 alive and support our work to promote more positive perceptions of disability.”
Big Lottery Fund Chair, Peter Ainsworth said: “These survey results confirm the life-changing work that the Get Set To Make A Change campaign has delivered. The Legacy Leaders have helped to make their local communities a better place to live as well as developing personal skills that will serve them well, long into the future and I am proud that the Big Lottery Fund’s Keeping the Spirit of 2012 Alive campaign helped make this possible.”
Notes to Editors:
Get Set to Make a Change (www.makeachange.org.uk) takes the Olympic Values (friendship, excellence and respect) and Paralympic Values (inspiration, determination, courage and equality) out into communities. Through the programme, teams of 14-19 year olds planned and delivered sport and healthy eating projects and events, called pledges, which aimed to make their communities healthier, more active places to live.
Find Get Set to Make a Change on social media:
Facebook: Get Set to Make a Change
• The Big Lottery Fund is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery.
• The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 it has awarded close to £6bn.
• In the year ending 31 March 2013, 28% of total National Lottery revenue was awarded to projects. Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £32 billion has been raised and more than 400,000 grants awarded.
• With its share of the money raised from the sale of the Olympic Village the Big Lottery Fund established the Spirit of 2012 Trust to deliver an Olympic and Paralympic legacy for communities across the UK. More information can be found on the website http://www.spiritof2012trust.org.uk
Full details of the work of the Big Lottery Fund, its programmes and awards are available on the website: http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk .
Big Lottery Fund Press Office: 020 7211 1888, Out of hours: 07867 500 572, Public Enquiries Line: 08454 102030, Textphone: 08456 021 659
Research conducted by EdComs showed a marked development both in the life skills of the young people involved in the GSTMC project and the way they are perceived within their communities.
– The majority of Legacy Leaders reported that their involvement in GSTMC had a positive impact and developed their life skills: leadership (84%); working as part of a team (81%) and meeting new people (82%) Young people who did not participate in the programme were also interviewed and far fewer agreed they had skills in these areas.
– 79% said that they had boosted their confidence and self-esteem through organising GSTMC activities in their communities.
– Some 88% of the adults questioned reported that they held a more positive opinion of young people than in the past.
– 80% of Legacy Leaders agreed that GSTMC has inspired them to get involved in other community activities.