This April Expect Youth celebrated the official launch of the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area Plan in Doncaster, with an extremely well attended event held at the Keepmoat Stadium. With our trusted partners, local professional and most importantly our young ambassadors arriving; the room was packed full of people ready to contribute to narrowing the educational gap in Doncaster.
Our partners did not hesitate in showcasing their incredible work with young people to local professionals; highlighting the need to engage young people in positive activities.
There was a lot of positive discussion between the attendees and networking before the speakers took the stage. The vice chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, and the Chair of the Opportunity Board, Chris Hughes opened the event by introducing himself and the area plan for Doncaster. Before inviting on stage Alison Wilson a member of the Department for Education, who talked about the struggles young people of Doncaster face and the opportunities offered to them.
The highlight of the evening came when our Young Ambassadors across Doncaster joined the stage to share their personal journeys to the audience. Two young people who had struggled previously to speak about their stories, reinforced the need for such provisions and the opportunities they have been given DO have a positive impact on the lives of young people.
James Halliday a Young Ambassador from the Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, spoke confidently and with humour to an engaged crowd on his personal achievements of re-opening Rossingtons youth club and his contributions to the Department for Education’s Opportunity Area Plan.
Abby Booker from the organisation Epic ended the evening with a touching story about her difficult past in foster care and how she has gone on to help those in a similar situation to herself. Showing there are opportunities out there for any young person; regardless of their background and qualifications.
There was a lot to be taken away from the evening but the clear message throughout is that we believe: everyone should be able to make what they can of themselves, and where they end up should not be dictated by where they began.