First Give Finals are a powerful opportunity for the school and First Give to amplify the voices of students on issues that matter to them; to support them to shout about their achievements and to celebrate their hard work. The event at Ark Acton Academy was incredibly well attended, with teachers, students and of course very proud parents making up the excitable audience. We were also delighted to be joined by a distinguished judging panel. Mr Knight (Headteacher) was joined by student representatives; the local Metropolitan Safer Schools Officer; and a very special guest – Councillor Munir Ahmed, Deputy Mayor of Ealing.
Nickael Briggs, the Lead teacher at Ark Acton Academy reflected on the importance of the Final event celebrating what students had done on the programme:
“Social action is really important and often young people don’t feel that there’s any point to them doing anything, and there isn’t any recognition. So I think where this project allowed them to get in contact with their charities and to campaign on behalf of them, I think that should be recognised, and we should celebrate young people when they are turning their energy into something positive like this.”
At First Give we have intentionally built the Final into our programme model so that young people are given a platform to speak to their school and wider community about what matters to them. On top of this it is an opportunity for the action young people have taken to be celebrated. We believe this recognition will help to whet their appetite to do more social action in the future. There is also a huge benefit in sharing good news stories like this to help raise the profile of young people as positive actors in communities across the UK.
As our Director Louisa Searle says,
“If you give young people the opportunity to do good, they will absolutely run with it.”
Let’s do more to celebrate when we see this happening, both in #iwillWeek and beyond!
The First Give programme at Ark Acton Academy was funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation.