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Best bits: A look back at 2021

With 2022 already in full flow, many will be making new year's resolutions, cleaning out the closet, or preparing, and possibly dreading, going back to school or work. We have a habit of constantly looking forward and thinking about what we can do more or less of to better ourselves. Which is exactly why we thought this was the perfect time to stop, take a deep breath and cast our minds back to all we and the inspiring young people we work with achieved in 2021. Here are a few we hope will put a smile on your face.

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Making uniforms affordable

school children in corridor

Making uniforms affordable

Every year, children are sent home for not wearing the right uniform. Trouble is, most of the time it’s simply because their family can’t afford it. 

That is why, seven years ago, a group of young people started a campaign to cut the cost of uniforms. We’ve been working with them side-by-side to shine a light on this important issue. 

Passing the school uniforms bill

All that hard work paid off when, in April, the School Uniform Bill finally passed in Parliament. This is a game changer. The law means schools in England will have to make cost a priority when setting uniform policies, and will make a difference for many families struggling to make ends meet.   

Youth campaigner, Alicia, was closely involved in the campaign. She told us just how important this outcome was.  

‘It’s great to know that young people growing up in a low income background won’t have the same situation as me. They won’t have to wear the same pieces of uniform for five years just because it was too expensive to buy new items.’

CYP Now Awards

Recognising our services

In November, a whopping four of our services were nominated at the Children and Young People Now Awards (CYP Now Awards). The awards highlight extraordinary work being done each year to improve the lives of children, young people and families.  

Bright Light, our partnership project getting care leavers into apprenticeships, took home the Leaving Care Award. And Safe Zones, our well-being service for young people in Greater Manchester, was highly commended in the hotly contested Mental Health and Well-being Award. 

Zoom call of nine service members clapping after winning a CYP Now award

CYP Now Awards

We are so happy to see our amazing services getting the recognition they deserve. Dara De burca, our Executive Director of Youth Impact said ‘This is a true testament of the tremendous work delivered by Safe Zones, Inside Out, Bright Lights and the See Hear Respond programmes.

These projects have worked tirelessly to create positive change in the lives of young people.

group looking out of window back to camera

Fighting for legal guardians

A group of young activists are calling on the Government to provide guardians for unaccompanied children seeking asylum in England and Wales.

Award winning young people

Young man wearing a shirt and tie folds his arms and stairs at the camera

Award winning young people

The Diana Awards were set up to honour young people who work to improve the lives of others. They are a big deal. So, you can only imagine how overjoyed we were when in July five inspiring young people we work with won awards. 

Musa is a prime example of what the awards are all about. For the past few years he has worked with the Youth Led Commission for Separated Children (YLCSC) campaigning for all children who arrive in the UK alone to get a legal guardian. He has raised awareness of the importance of guardians by sharing his story.

Musa quote

Musa brings passion, charisma and drive to the Commission’s work

He is studying for a law degree, but this hasn’t stopped him prioritising the campaign for legal guardians. He is driven, passionate and committed. 

Looking forward

We hope you enjoyed this quick snapshot of some of the best bits of 2021 as much as we did. We are now looking forward to seeing what can be achieved in the coming year to transform the hopes and happiness of children across the country.