On Wednesday 14th September, young people and community members gathered at the Podium on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to celebrate how Get Set for Community Action has changed their lives over this past year.
Young people travelled from all over the UK to present their volunteering projects and discuss how they embraced the Olympic and Paralympic Values to connect with their communities.
The programme is year-long UK-wide programme created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association, made possible thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund.
Over 18,500 young people have delivered over 500 community projects and reached more than 50,000 members of their local communities. The programme channelled the excitement of the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games to inspire young people to get involved in their communities and organise activities to make their communities better and healthier places to live. Young people delivered a variety of events, including Brazilian food tasting with the elderly in Glasgow, a Rio-themed games night with adults with disabilities in Carrickfergus and tackling the regeneration of green spaces at Chelmer Valley local nature reserve.
Research conducted by EdComs showed a marked development both in the life skills of the young people involved in Get Set for Community Action and the way they are perceived within their communities.
EdComs’ research demonstrated that:
The majority of young people agreed that their involvement in Get Set for Community Action had a positive impact on their life skills: working as part of a team (92%); communicating with others (89%); and self-esteem (78%).
Relationships between young people and their local communities improved as a direct result of taking part in the initiative, with 9 out of 10 young people now feeling a more positive relationship with groups in their local area.
Relationships between young people and their local community will continue beyond the programme: almost 80% of young people want to continue working with the community groups they established relationships with after the initiative finishes.
Daniel Ritchie, Action Lead at Carrickfergus YMCA said of the event: “Speaking about our projects today gave us the opportunity to experience a real sense of pride and achievement. I’ve loved taking part in Get Set for Community Action as it has challenged us and given us the ability to further ourselves as people. Presenting at the Celebration Event today has shown us that what we do can have an impact on people in our community and really distinguished people in the UK like Olympic and Paralympic athletes! We never thought we could have achieved this!”
Dan Norton, Team GB Rugby Sevens said: “It’s been inspiring meeting the young people who are volunteering with Get Set for Community Action. Today we’ve heard from six of the teams who planned and delivered some brilliant projects in the run-up to the Rio Olympic Games. It was nice to see the enthusiasm of the young people when they talked about their projects and how they were connecting with their communities.”
Naomi Riches, ParalympicsGB Rower said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to have been part of the Get Set for Community Action journey. It is also a great joy to see the teams grow in confidence as they plan and deliver their projects and witness the excitement these young people have because of the Get Set for Community Action programme. I’m so pleased we could bring together some of the teams to celebrate their fantastic work while ParalympicsGB were competing out in Rio; I am sure this added to the enthusiasm of the teams and will inspire them to continue the great work of their projects.”
Visit www.getsetaction.org.uk for more information.
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