On Friday the 20th of July Voyage was proud to celebrate the graduation of over 100 young people that successfully completed our unique accredited course “Young Leaders for Safer Cities (YLFSC)”. The formal Graduation ceremony was held at Hackney Town Hall, which saw families, friends, teachers and many special guests joining us to celebrate an important milestone in the lives of our 15 year old students.

Our course successfully engaged young people in over 150 hours of structured leadership activities (including a residential weekend, workshops, taught sessions and inspirational presentations) resulting in them achieving a BTEC level ii Certificate in youth leadership. Our young leaders come from 12 secondary schools located in 6 inner London boroughs with over 60% of our students coming from Hackney were we are based. Our programme equips students with knowledge, awareness and skill sets of how to identify a leader, how to help others if they are injured and in particular how the media and law operates at their disadvantage. Our programme reduces the need for young people to join gangs, reduces post code conflict and helps young people build effective relations with law enforcement whilst encouraging their friends and families to do the same.

Our graduation evening was hosted by Pure Yinkz and Uncle D supported by guest appearances from “Still Shadey” and spoken word artist “Charles” capturing audiences with their personal stories through performance. Our special guest included amazing people who contributed to our programme such as Jennette Arnold OBE, Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Jo Broadwood/ Rebecca Long (Street Doctors), Siddo Dwyer (Young Labour), Janet Hills (Black Police Association), Lee Jasper (Blaksox), Leee John (artist/ musician), Rashid Nix (Green Party), William Wilson (Met Police) and Dr Leroy Logan MBE via video message. Our guests shared some warm words with our audience and helped us acknowledge 15 exemplary young leaders awarded for distinctive achievements for helping others, sustaining attendance and other leadership qualities.

The evening was designed to show case and test our emphasis on young people taking over our operations as the event was entirely produced, managed and ran by our gradate team of young leaders. The graduation event has helped us sustain trusting relations with our students who now wish to take part in our graduate scheme (South Hackney Leadership Academy) which starts the 6th October 2018.

Should you wish to know more about our programme kindly get in touch with us at esther@voyageyouth.com

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