It is important that within Pulse projects we offer every young person the opportunity to have a role. This is where our Young Leaders are equipped to take on responsibility within the projects they attend and be positive role models within their communities.
The role of a Young Leader varies from managing particular aspects of a Youth Cafe to preparing and delivering talks on subjects which they feel might have a positive impact upon their peers. However role modelling the key values of Pulse is at the foundation of everything they do, enabling young people to become more “loving, truthful, creative & responsible”.
We work with Young Leaders across all of our projects to invest in their strengths and celebrate their achievements. Often many of these young people will use the roles they take on as part of volunteering award schemes such as “The Duke of Edinburgh”. The success of our projects is very much down to many of these young people actively stepping up to demonstrate a positive change in the communities they live in.
Below are a several of our longest serving Young Leaders who were asked to share a bit of their story.
Anna Irwin, Former Young Leader
Anna had been attending Youth Cafes for 6 years and had been very much involved since the beginning. She developed a keen knowledge of what it takes to run a Youth Cafe and used this understanding to manage a project for a week in the centre of Milton Keynes where over 200 young people attended. Each week she worked alongside the team to encourage and mentor others within the local project she attended. “I always loved the friendly and inviting atmosphere. It provides a safe, exciting place to meet with both old friends and new ones. Becoming a Young Leader meant I could have a role. This included setting up and packing away, as well as being set challenges to get along side other young people in order to build relationships with them. As I got older I could see how important it was for me to support others. I made a conscious decision to challenge myself each week to build relationships with the people around me so that they would feel welcome and happy to keep coming back and to invite their friends along. Building relationships within the Youth Cafe often allowed me to share my faith, which I am passionate about doing. I found Youth Cafes personally very rewarding and it’s what I looked forward to on a Friday night each week”.
Sean Wilkinson, Former Young Leader
Sean is 16 years old and first attended a Youth Cafe at the age of 12. He loves gaming, running and hanging out with friends. Sean currently attends Aylesbury College where he is studying Public Services. He regularly attends Aston Clinton Youth Cafe and serves alongside the team there, but has also begun shadowing our Youth Cafe Managers in order to gain experience in Youth Work. “I really enjoy my time at Youth Cafes and I am so inspired by all the opportunities I get to serve alongside teams in different areas. It is really great to look back on how I became more involved, just by coming along to one of the Youth Cafes when I was younger, to now doing something like this! Its great meeting new people every week and getting to know them. Being a young leader means I can have a role and get an opportunity to serve others. I can also share my faith and learn so much from others around me”. Sean was involved in the Rebuild Mexico 2014 trip as a team member and will be coming along with us again in 2016.
Millie Glenn, Former Young Leader
Millie is 15 years old and has been serving as a Young Leader at Youth Cafes for around a year now, which began as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award scheme. She has attended Great Brickhill Youth Cafe since she was 12. Her hobbies include football, hockey, netball and pretty much all other sports, she also enjoys baking and crafts. “I really enjoy going to Youth Cafe every week, meeting new people and helping to create a really great environment for them to enjoy themselves in. There is always loads of activities to get involved in and a great team of people serving. Youth Cafe has been a really great experience so far and I look forward to many more great memories and experiences in the future”.