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29 April, 2005

Youth Act groups win again

Two Citizenship Foundation Youth Act! groups were announced yesterday as winners in this year’s Wavemakers Awards in a glittering awards ceremony in Leicester Square.

Stonebridge Road Estate youth group wins a Wavemakers award for their 'Make a Change'  project.
Stonebridge Road Estate group accept their award

They were two out of 22 winners, from an original 54 shortlisted nominations. Groups from Gladesmore Community School and Stonebridge Road Estate were recognized as young people who have strived to improve their lives and those of their peers. Jamie and Oliver Phelps, Tania Bryer and Sir John Major were there to present the awards.

The ‘extraordinary’ Stonebridge Road Estate Group’s aged 9–17, from Tottenham, North London, won for initiating improvements to the facilities and safety within their local community through their Make a Change project. Engaging other young people, they held a fun day in August 2004 where they presented their research and concerns to local decision makers. They were trained through Youth Act! (a project run by the Citizenship Foundation) to develop the skills they needed to lobby and deliver their campaign.

The judges said, “The Make a Change day and this group of young people represent the essence of Wavemakers – showing that young people can change their own worlds making positive impacts in the local community.”

"Make a Change helped themselves and others to break out of passivity. They dedicated the hours and weeks which are needed in order to affect real community change. What they have achieved, and it is nearly all they set out to change, serves as a fantastic example to people living in any area with similar problems," said Carrie Supple who manages Youth Act!

‘Dynamic’ pupils from Gladesmore Community School won for their Value Life campaign, the aim of which is to highlight the terrifying problems of gun-crime in Tottenham, London. Amongst several key results, they organized a march and a rally against gun crime in July 2004 in which one hundred people participated, and plan to hold another in June this year. Their work has also led to the integration of the study of gun crime across the Citizenship curriculum. They were trained to campaign successfully through Youth Act!

The judges were unanimous in choosing the young people from Gladesmore, “This project tackles one of the most chilling subjects for children and young people in urban areas. This group has made a significant impact in its community and we hope it will continue to do so in Tottenham and elsewhere.”

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