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29 June, 2007

Youth Act Residential, May 2007

In early May young campaigners from Hammersmith and Fulham travelled to Wales to spend three days exploring the issues that affect their communities, meeting fellow campaigners and developing the skills needed to carry out their own campaigns for change.

In the idyllic location of Dunfield House, Herefordshire the three groups of young people from Henry Compton School, South Kilburn's OK Club and Alperton School completed the residential-element of their Youth Act training.

Youth Act residentials support young people to develop the skills needed to run successful campaigns in a supportive, new environment. Training sessions are carried out over three full days and learning, staying and working together in a different environment is often received as a benefit to the young campaigners' work.

Thomas, a student at Henry Compton School explained, "I'd definitely recommend coming away on a residential to other young people who want to make a change. We're a mixed group but we've had to get along, we've met new people and made new friends. If you live in a city, the residential is a great chance to get away, get some skills, get to know your group and find out the best way to work together.

"The setting has proved the perfect environment for the young people I work with to carry out the team building activities that are going to be so important for getting their campaign going and working together on keeping it going.

Eileen Sabur, the adult working with the campaign group at Alperton School added I think they've really benefited from being in the countryside but it is the in-depth training that has really impressed mee. I didn't realise before being involved in Youth Act that such high-quality training existed. It's great to find a training team so skilled and specialised in youth participation that works so well with young people."

Training at the residential was delivered by YoMo training professionals, specialists in providing training for schools, youth and community groups. Through sessions on project planning, teamwork and leadership an emphasis is placed on developing communication skills and trust through practical sessions, performing arts, group discussions and role-play.

As Isaac, a young campaigner, explained, "The training improves your team work, self-esteem and co-operation as a team. It's helpful and it inspires you to try and do more for your community. I'm going to go back to my community confident about taking our campaign message to other schools and young people."

Once back in their communities, the groups will continue to develop their campaigns for change. The five students from Alperton School have chosen to campaign for the creation of an arts centre to bring the diverse community they live in together whilst young people at the OK Club plan to campaign to improve relations between young people and the police. Meanwhile, students at Henry Compton have created the Bang Entertainment group working together to campaign for an audio-visual performance space creating opportunities for young people to get involved in open mic and break-dancing sessions.

Visit the Youth Act pages to watch their campaigns develop.

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From Lincoln Waithe - Fulham
I'd love to see the outcome of the boys work, where is it?Is it something I can use for black history projects?

From Ade Sofola - Citizenship Foundation
The boys in Hammersmith are still working on their film on knife crime. They have secured some money to produce the film so we hope that something will be ready to go to schools by Nov 07. The boys in Brent are hosting an event in Brent.

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