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Our inspiring Young Ambassadors press for change

Young people across the UK have been using their voices to tackle the poverty issues important to them, with the support of Save the Children.

Our Young Ambassadors programme enables young people to come together from across the country to organise End Child Poverty Summit events with a direct call to action for an audience of supporters, councillors and parliamentarians.

The programme will also see a nationwide campaign call which will be planned and delivered by young people in 2012.

Lobbying for change

Our vision is for young people to influence policy and decisions at local and national levels. We’re hoping the ambassadors will be responsible for changes that make life better for thousands of children and young people living in poverty across Britain.

None of this would be possible without the support of two of our corporate partners, British Gas and FirstGroup.

Funding

British Gas has provided vital funding, as well as fantastic volunteer support for grassroots change project groups, ambassador summits, an ambassador residential and the national campaign next year.

FirstGroup has also provided crucial funding and support across a range of UK programme initiatives including ambassador summits and an ambassador residential. as well as supporting Families and Schools Together (FAST) groups in Manchester and Glasgow which help to build communities between parents, schools and children.

Inspiring

Staff and executives from both companies had the chance to meet and discuss issues with the ambassadors and one word always cropped up in their feedback was “inspiring”.

Christine Tate, head of corporate responsibility at British Gas, said: “We’re very proud to be supporting these summits and Save the Children’s work in the UK.

“These young people are so inspirational and have already influenced changes to make a positive difference in many children’s lives. We all have a role to support our communities and make them better places for our youngsters.”

Enthusiasm

Avril Gill, FirstGroup’s marketing manager for group brand, added: “Not only was it good fun, I was also surprised just how strong the opinions of these young people were.  

“Save the Children fostered a trusting and positive environment which bred confidence, and created exactly the right platform for the young people to share opinions and experience.

And they are a truly inspiring group of young people, as demonstrated by the recent End Child Poverty Summits they designed, planned and delivered.

Supported summits

During these summits the ambassadors spoke in front of senior decision makers and told them what they want to change and why.

The Wales Summit in Cardiff, which was funded by FirstGroup was co-chaired with former First Minister Rhodri Morgan and had a focus on health, food poverty and maximising income.

The North of England Summit, funded by British Gas, involved an audience of local MPs and councillors and addressed the need for cheaper school uniforms for poorer families and better access to youth services.

And at the Scotland Summit, funded by Scottish Gas, the ambassadors’ creative “Get In” campaign which aims to improve access to leisure activities for youngsters living in poverty was presented to MSPs and councillors.

 Find out more about this year’s summits, and the young ambassador’s campaign to improve the lives of young people’s lives in the UK in a forthcoming blog post soon.

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