Young people are showing their commitment to their communities by taking part in 24-hour-challenges – which include transforming derelict landscapes and refurbishing community centres – with the hope their efforts will be recognised in a new national award programme.
The SkillForce Prince’s Award – launched by SkillForce in conjunction with the charity’s Royal Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge – will reward young people for an outstanding contribution to a community or cause, giving of their own time to make a difference to others. To be considered for the coveted award, young people must first complete SkillForce’s ‘24 Hours to Make a Difference’ challenge, in which they will work together to plan and implement a programme that will make a significant contribution to their community.
The most outstanding participants in the challenge will be selected to receive The SkillForce Prince’s Award – which includes a trophy and a significant investment or experience that will further their personal, professional or educational development – and every participant will receive a SkillForce certificate, as well as a recognised national certificate in community volunteering. Judging of all the challenges will take place this summer, with winners of the award announced in the autumn.
In a message of support to the charity, The Duke of Cambridge said:
“I am immensely proud to put my name to the SkillForce Prince’s Award. It rewards young people who have made an outstanding contribution to their community, encouraging them to go further to nurture their personal, professional or educational development. I would like to personally thank all those who took part in this inaugural phase of the award and I hope many young people will be inspired to take part in the future.”
Four challenges will be taking place across England this weekend with two schools in Scotland having already completed the challenge. The SkillForce Prince’s Award builds on the existing work of SkillForce locally. SkillForce is an educational charity that works in partnership with more than 150 schools in England and Scotland to help young people realise their individual potential and academic ability. It makes a profound difference to their lives – tackling exclusions, increasing academic performance and boosting confidence amongst the pupils it works with.
The SkillForce Prince’s Award is initially open to students graduating from the SkillForce Community, Character and Contribution curriculum. The ‘24 Hours to Make a Difference’ challenge will reinforce the knowledge and skills gained in this curriculum. It is planned the award will eventually be open to any young person that can demonstrate an understanding of the community in which they live and are willing to give up 24 hours of their time for a charitable cause.
Peter Cross, CEO, SkillForce, said: “The SkillForce Prince’s Award recognises young people for an outstanding contribution to a community or cause, giving of their own time to make a difference to others. By taking part in the ‘24-hours to Make a Difference’ challenge, young people are offered an opportunity to win this award whilst becoming an active and valued member of the community in which they live, demonstrating and developing the character and skills that will help them in the future.”
Find out more here.