An 18 year old from Doncaster has won a Safeguarding award for his work with young people as part of his employment with Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust (DCLT) and Expect Youth.
James Halliday, who is a Youth Engagement Officer, joined DCLT in 2015 on a pre-apprenticeship programme. He was then successful in securing an apprenticeship in September 2016.
He was nominated for this award by the Department for Education for his hard work as a Doncaster Youth Ambassador for the Doncaster Opportunity Area Programme. As part of his work supporting the programme, James has been instrumental in bringing a group of young people together to support the department’s ambition of improving social mobility in the borough.
Following the award James received a letter from MP Nadhim Zahawi, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, praising him for receiving the award, for his services to youth work and his continued efforts in engaging with children and young people in hard to reach areas, which the MP said are admirable.
James said: “I am really honoured to have been given this award for doing a job I love. I’ve been very lucky with the support that I have been given, from DCLT and Expect Youth over the past couple of years
“I didn’t really enjoy the school environment and this was a great way of learning for me and I found that DCLT’s pre – apprenticeship and apprenticeship programme was a great way to learn new skills and prepare me for the world of work”
James quickly became an ambassador for the range of educational initiatives DCLT run and has been instrumental in recruiting new students onto subsequent programmes.
As part of his development James became a Cycling for Health Apprentice working with hard to reach groups to encourage cycling and he also has supported the delivery of a number of other physical activity programmes. James has also represented The Expect Youth Alliance as an ambassador at a number of high profile events which has helped raise advocacy locally, regionally and nationally.
Jon Whiteley, Deputy Chief Executive of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust said: “We are all very proud of James and what he has achieved. He is a perfect example of a young person who can thrive in an apprenticeship setting. Throughout his time with us James demonstrated fantastic communication and interpersonal skills with customers of all ages and abilities and adapted his approach to meet their needs.
“His confidence grew and he has finally found vocation where he feels comfortable, delivering and shaping a range of inclusive activities for young people in Doncaster.”
Jo Kaczmarek, Delivery Lead for Doncaster Opportunity Area, said: “We are thrilled for James, he has worked extremely hard and this award is a real credit to him.
“He is passionate about community engagement and about the village he lives in. He promotes this to all. He is a great influence on the youth in Rossington this was evidenced through Youth Club sessions he helped establish and his current work with Rossington’s Expect Summer programme. His commitment to improving social mobility for young people in Doncaster through his work on the Opportunity Area programme is admirable and we thank him for all his hard work.”
EXPECT Youth Strategic Development Director, Peter Norman, said: “James has continually shown tremendous commitment to helping young people across Doncaster. He has a great personality and this enables him to get the best out of young people who may ordinarily find it difficult to learn or flourish when asked to do new tasks outside their comfort zone. His ability to positively influence young people has directly helped them make significant improvements to their essential life skills and help them deal with the challenges of everyday life at school, college and employment."
James Halliday (centre) with MP Nadhim Zahawi (left) and Sir Chris Husbands, Chair of the Doncaster Opportunity Area Partnership Board (right).
For further information about DCLT visit www.dclt.co.uk