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Mayor urges business support for 'inspiring' young people

Wednesday, 20 December 2023 14:53

The Mayor of the Island’s capital is asking for businesses to come forward and help empower young people to learn new skills.


Councillor Natalie Byron-Teare, J.P. made the call during a visit to Ballakermeen High School where she met students participating in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.


As the theme of her 2023-24 Mayoral year is ‘community and charity’, Councillor Mrs Byron-Teare believes the initiative has a natural synergy as it not only encourages young people to use their skills and experiences to gain confidence but support their community and good causes in the process.


Speaking to pupils in years 9-13, she urged local companies to assist students with placements as they seek volunteering opportunities which benefit the local community.


‘The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme has inspired and continues to inspire generations of young people,’ she explained.


‘It was so enjoyable to meet Ballakermeen students who are currently participating at various stages and their fresh perspectives, innovative ideas and boundless energy really shone through.


‘To become involved in a project or with an organisation to help others change things for the better is highly rewarding and helps participants learn about teamwork, how to overcome challenges, achieve goals and grow in confidence.


‘Of course, volunteering plays such an important role and opportunities have to be provided so I would ask businesses to get in touch with the youth service which runs the scheme in the Island about providing such openings.’


The Department of Education’s youth service delivers the award through secondary schools, voluntary youth organisations and independent groups in which students work towards their bronze, silver and, ultimately, gold awards via a series of sections – volunteering, physical and skills – and tackle and complete a number of expeditions.


At any one time around 800 young people in the Isle of Man can be working towards the awards.