Almost 100 school children from Primary and Secondary Schools across Nottingham joined together last week for a day of inspiration on how they can make a difference on the issues that matter.
In a first for Nottingham, a Youth Summit was held at the Boots UK Support Office, hosted by Boots UK and WE, an organisation that brings people together and gives them the tools to change the world.
Eight local schools* attended for a day of inspirational workshops led by speakers and facilitators from WE as part of their WE Schools programme. Speeches were given by Graham Moran, Chief Executive of Nottingham Forest Community Trust, and two of its coaches, Hannah and James. The children then spent the afternoon mindmapping what they can do to help on the issues that affect their local communities – which they identified as including mental health, homelessness, healthy eating and teenage isolation.
Lindsey Jamson, who is Assistant Head and Year 5 teacher from Willow Farm Primary School in Gedling, comments: “I think the Youth Summit has been a brilliant opportunity for children to get together from across lots of different schools and share their experiences of the work they have been doing through the WE Schools programme.
“It’s been really exciting for them to listen to key speakers and talk about their new ideas. The children have been really impassioned about the difference that they can make both locally and globally. It’s been a real way for them to harness their thoughts into something really positive. Programmes like this can have a massive impact on people’s lives. Not only the people that the programme helps, but also it’s been very empowering for the young people to feel like they can make a change in the world.”
Some of the children then presented their ideas for what they can do to help improve people’s lives. Pupils from Blue Bell Hill Primary School developed a plan to raise awareness of the importance of eating healthier.
A student, aged 11 from Blue Bell Hill Primary School, said: “Our action plan was called Snack Attack – we’re going to be baking and growing food to sell to people, and we’re going to have an assembly to tell people about the food that they’re actually eating. We just want people to be aware, because if people knew what they were eating – they probably wouldn’t eat it! We will also donate the money that we raise to food banks. Which will help the homeless to eat healthier as well.”
The WE Schools programme is important in helping to improve the resilience of young people in Nottingham.
Alice Veldtman, CSR Manager for Boots UK, comments: “The youth summit has been an amazing day. It’s been a brilliant opportunity to bring together eight local schools in the Nottingham area, and celebrate the children and teachers who have taken action as part of the WE Schools programme this year. Boots UK champions the right of everyone to feel good. We are committed to supporting young people, and this programme is all about building the confidence of young people, and empowering them to make a difference on issues they care about.”
Boots UK has worked in partnership with WE since September 2016 in a pilot to bring a bespoke, in-depth programme to 65 schools in Nottingham, creating an opportunity for 10,000 children to get involved and make a difference to important issues at school, in their local community and to people across the world.
Earlier this year at WE Day UK on 22 March 2017, Boots UK granted East Leake Academy £1,000 as part of WE Schools, to help the pupils continue their work to improve awareness and education on mental health.