On the 24th January we were privileged to be part of an exciting event involving students at Beckfoot School and the Bradford Opportunity Area. This event gave policy makers and frontline service providers in Bradford the chance to hear about young people’s experiences of growing up in the region.
Seventy students from across key stages 3, 4 and 5 spoke brilliantly about the amazing opportunities that their school provides for them to be active citizens in their community and beyond. One of the main topics of conversation centred on how more young people can be inspired to carry out social action. With an increasing shift towards a curriculum that offers real world experiences it was particularly powerful to hear pupil voice on what really inspires them about extra-curricular and external opportunities.
One of the most inspiring things about working with young people is their desire to help others given the opportunity to do so – this perhaps runs counterintuitive to the false narrative that anyone under the age of 20 is selfish and self-seeking! Students at Beckfoot across the age ranges shared their experiences in fundraising, DofE and building schools in Borneo. They also told attendees such as Anne-Marie Canning MBE and Dame Julia Cleverdon that they would like more information about age-appropriate opportunities to volunteer and make a difference to the lives of people in their community. To quote Anne-Marie Canning, Bradford Opportunity Area Chair, “…sometimes listening can be more powerful than talking”. A sentiment that all of the adults at the Beckfoot Listening Day would definitely echo!