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A group of young people who are taking part in the Youth Ambassador programme have begun to plan their next steps – planning two community events that will support young people at risk of getting involved in crime.

The young people, aged 12 to 16 years, started to shape their plans for the event during a three night residential at Kentmere Residential Centre last week.

11 young people spent three days away from home, developing their skills in teamwork, communication, decision making and problem solving. They also got the chance to try outdoor activities such as kayaking and orienteering – for the first time for some. 

Cole who is taking part in the project said

“The project has helped me build confidence in talking to new people and have a better understanding of other cultures. The residential was great fun and we can’t wait to deliver our social action plan” 

Since June the youngsters have been meeting weekly, taking part in Youth Ambassador sessions at Blackburn Youth Zone. Part of the Our Community, Our Future social integration programme, these sessions have brought young people from different parts of the borough together to explore topics around identity and culture and to develop new skills. 

Dean Edwards from Blackburn Youth Zone commented: 

“The residential gave these young people a fantastic opportunity to develop their independence. They were brilliant at supporting one another and did a great job of developing their own rota for roles and responsibilities for the trip and really bonded as a team. 

“It was really encouraging to see them work together on their idea for a social action project – they’ve got bags of enthusiasm! We’ll support them to develop their plan over the next few weeks, involving those Youth Ambassadors who weren’t able to attend the residential too.”

More young people in the borough have the chance to get involved in the Youth Ambassadors programme – the next two group starts on Thursday 26th September at Blackburn Youth Zone and Saturday 5th October at Blackburn Rovers Community Trust. Open to all 12 to 16 year olds in Blackburn with Darwen, the Youth Ambassador programme aims to provide young people with the opportunity and skills to make a difference in their community by working with others on local projects. 

To find out more about Youth Ambassadors, email or call 01254 292000. 

Youth Ambassadors is delivered by a broad range of partners from across the borough bringing together a range of skills, knowledge and expertise: Blackburn Youth Zone, Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, BwD Young People’s Services, Healthy Living, IMO, One Voice Blackburn and Child Action North West.