Co-op College leads new youth empowerment project, backed by Co-op Foundation

The scheme focuses on youth activism, inspiring a new generation to use co-operative values and principles to make a change

This month sees the launch of a youth project across England focused on empowering young people to make a difference in their community.

The programme, led by the Co-operative College, will launch in Hartlepool, Rochdale and Bury later this month. It focuses on youth activism, inspiring a new generation of young people to use co-operative values and principles to make a change where they live.

Supported by a £170,000 grant from the Co-op Foundation’s #iwill Fund, each cohort is encouraged to think differently to solve problems in their community and understand the real power of their voice.

Empowered with the skills, knowledge and platform to tell their story, they work together to inspire real, meaningful change.

Through taking part in the scheme, all those involved will learn new skills, meet new people and have fun. Focused on team work and problem solving, participants will gain the confidence to tackle the issues that matter to them, such as loneliness, highlighted as a key issue among young people and emphasised using the project’s hashtag #TogetherNotAlone.

The project builds on the success of the College’s previous scheme in Greater Manchester which saw young care leavers come together to tackle loneliness in their community through a unique theatre production.

Young people can get involved in the project by visiting www.co-op.ac.uk/yca where they’ll find more information and details on how to register their interest in being part of the Rochdale cohort.

Gemma Obeng, UK programme manager at the College, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing our Youth Co-operative Action to even more communities across England, building on the success of previous cohorts. All those involved will build their confidence, gain new skills and work together to make a change in their communities.

“We know the difference that youth social action can make in tackling loneliness and have seen first-hand the transformational impact that our original programme had across Greater Manchester. By spreading the message of co-operation across England, we’re empowering a new generation to tackle the issues that matter to them, utilising co-operative values and principles just like the original pioneers did 175 years ago.”

The #iwill Fund supports the aims of the #iwill campaign – to make involvement in social action a part of life for young people, by recognising the benefit for both young people and their communities.

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