Leadership and Volunteering

The challenge

QEGs G&T leaders, Ashbourne RDSSp

Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar ‘Gifted and Talented’ Young Leaders, Ashbourne

Schools in rural areas find it more difficult and more expensive to find high quality coaches and instructors to help run activities.

In an increasingly competitive world, academic qualifications alone are not sufficient. Young people need to demonstrate they can deal with responsibility and have the confidence to lead others and set a positive example.

The solution

The SSP works with schools to support and develop leadership skills in young people and to create Leadership Academies. Bernie Hunter, Headteacher at Hope Valley College, said, “When our youngsters go back as a graduate to their primary school to help enrich the sports provision, that sends a powerful message…it also gives the student’s self esteem a real lift.”

RDSSP Darley ChurchtownPrimary schools link to the Academies with students from as young as year 3 receiving ‘Mini-leader’ training to support Midday Supervisors. At Darley Churchtown Primary 23 older pupils gained a Sports Leaders UK Young Leaders Award, helping the school’s younger children to get more active at lunchtimes.

Headteacher Jo Gotheridge said: “This was a wonderful opportunity for the older children to develop their skills as ‘buddies’ to the younger children. It trained them more in initiating play and being more responsible for creating a happier playground.”

Janice Price, RDSSP Partnership Manager, said: “It is great to hear first hand from the pupils and teachers how much the youngsters have gained from the Leadership programme. They have developed skills and confidence as the weeks have progressed and are now able to support and encourage others to take part in more active lunch and playtime.”

The results

Highfields Young Leaders RDSSP

Highfields Young Leaders

Becoming a Young Leader, gaining a Sports Leaders UK qualification, teaching younger children and helping run festivals and competitions can be a life changing experience as these current and former Highfields students explain:

Annabel McGregor (14):  “It’s really fun, it gives you a really good feeling helping out with the younger kids. When they look up to you it’s a lovely feeling and to be part of it is amazing.”

Debra Greer (19), who is reading Biology at Oxford University says:  “In tricky situations if you get asked difficult questions, you feel a lot more versatile and it doesn’t matter what people throw at you – you’re able to deal with it. So it’s a great for improving life skills in general.”


Becky Bryan, Derbyshire Dales Village Games

Becky Bryan (22), who now works as Derbyshire Dales Village Games Coordinator, said,
“I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t done my leadership and coaching qualifications at school. It definitely improved my life, giving me confidence and leadership skills.”

Last year Chloe Chandler and Abi Akehurst (17) demonstrated the ‘Energy Club’ healthy lifestyle initiative to MPs and Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey- Thompson at the House of Commons.  Abi went on to win the East Midlands ‘All Round Commitment to Volunteering’ category in the vInspired National Awards.  (Read more…)

221012 Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson and Energy Club leadersRDSSP Partnership Manager Janice Price who accompanied them said: “I was incredibly proud.  Unphased by the environment & the task, they embraced the moment & held the audience of MPs & guests captivated. No mean feat at 17 years of age!  They were a credit to themselves & their school.  We will be working with Sports Leaders UK to roll out free training to infant & primary schools across the Derbyshire Dales so watch this space.”

Sports Leaders, Highfields Matlocks

Just some of the amazing events organised by sports leaders at Highfields School, Matlock. Summer 2013

Aiding transition from primary to secondary is a fundamental benefit of our work.  Lady Manners’ SSCo Jayne Roach explains:  “When I have 20 Sixth Form and year 11 leaders leading these little people they are so much more responsive than with a teacher. The younger children think, ‘When I get to Lady Manners, I can be like you’.”

The Partnership will:
• Train and support young people to volunteer, coach, organize, lead, motivate and inspire others.
• Support leaders to develop their skills and enhance opportunities for paid work.

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