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Nine young people of Greater Manchester have had their accomplishments celebrated at the Trailblazing Youth Graduation Event, organised by Youth Leads UK. The event took place in the heart of Manchester at HOME Theatre and brought key decision-makers and young people together to discuss social action, youth voice, and the power of working together to improve their community. 

The event was organised to encourage young people to share their experiences on the Youth Leads UK Leadership Programmes – most notably, their Social Action Project on Refugee Rights, outlining the success it garnered online with over 2,500 individuals engaging with the project. The new Chair of the Youth Advisory Board at Youth Leads UK, Faizan, highlighted the importance of platforming young voices and encouraged attendees to actively contribute to their local communities in an enriching and motivational way. 

Distinguished guests included Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Sue Lomas OBE DL and Chief Superintendent of Greater Manchester Police Richard McNamara. 

Representing His Majesty the King’s Lord-Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Mrs Diane Hawkins, Deputy Lieutenant Sue Lomas OBE DL said:

“I’m impressed with how you’ve committed your time and efforts to serve your communities. You’ve stepped up to provide help and support to our communities. The Lieutenancy believes in the power of young people, and I know that the King is fully committed to supporting youth in the UK. Congratulations to all of you on your great achievements!”

Chief Superintendent of Greater Manchester Police, Richard McNamara, said:

“It’s been so inspiring to hear today the work that you do. Robert Peel said, ‘the public are the police, and the police are the public’ – I think it’s really important to focus on our community relations, particularly our relationship with young people. We must invest in our young people and look forward to continuing our partnership. Congratulations to every one of you. You’ve done a fantastic job.”

Saeed Atcha MBE DL, Founder and CEO of Youth Leads UK, said:

“Young people are taking practical action in the service of others. They’ve gone above and beyond to tackle issues in their communities and make a difference in the world around them. Every adult has a role in being an ally to young people,  celebrating their achievements and spurring them on to keep serving.” 

Every Leadership Programme at Youth Leads UK ends by honouring the achievements of young people, encouraging them to keep moving forward on the path of action, and continuing essential conversations which facilitate change. 

Following the speeches from dignitaries and young people, participants were presented with their certificates and professional photos, which can be found here.  A spread of sweet treats and mocktails was served to all attendees to mark the end of the occasion.