Eight groups of young people from Bedfordshire pitched their social action campaign ideas, aimed to improve various issues across the county, to a room of 100 local business, education, public sector and charity professionals in March.
Pictured, from left, are: Dr Gordon Mellor, Executive Dean of the Business School, University of Bedfordshire; John Phillips, President, Bedford Rotary Club; Heidi Anukam and Michael Wittering, UpRisers 2015; David Russell, Chief Executive, the Harpur Trust; and UpRisers 2015 Olly Golding, Dennika Francis-Phillips and Emily Thorne.
More than £1000, donated by the Rotaries of Bedfordshire, was given out to the groups. And the winning group, Minds Alrite – who have been working in partnership with Relate Bedfordshire & Luton – received the top prize of £250 towards their mental health awareness project which will roll out in schools during Mental Health Awareness Week in May.
Our Relate CEO Angela Foll says: “It’s been a real joy to work with such a talented group of hugely reliable young people from UpRising. We’ll be offering as much support as we can muster to ensure their project in schools is a big success. Certainly, we know it’s needed and we hope many young people suffering mental health issues in and around Bedford will benefit from the UpRisers’ personal experiences. We already work with several schools in the area but others who may wish to be involved are welcome to get in touch.”
The group, who have brought their project together over the last three months, says: “It feels incredible to have won. We have all come so far and grown so much as people throughout the [UpRising] programme.”
Other projects on the night included a group who are working on money management with the Bedford Citizen’s Advice Bureau, a project based in Luton focused on promoting healthy relationships as a way of tackling sexual exploitation issues and an individual looking to highlight the prevalence and difficulties of young people suffering with Dyspraxia.
UpRising is a UK-wide youth leadership development organisation. Its mission is to open pathways to power for talented young people from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.
Visit their website: www.uprising.org.uk