HOBY UK 2013 Youth Leadership Event
University of Lancaster 10-13 April 2013
HOBY UK is ran its seventh Youth Leadership Seminar for 14 and 15 year olds at the University of Lancaster this Easter from Wednesday 10 April to Saturday 13 April. The young people were selected from schools across the Northwest. Some were already involved in leadership activities, such as school councils and youth parliament, but others were there on the recommendation of their teachers, who could see their potential. As well as focussing on leadership, here was an opportunity to meet and share their experiences with other motivated young people from different places, backgrounds and cultures, developing understanding, tolerance and friendships.
Expert guest facilitators who included Arif Ansari ( BBC's Political Editor in the North West) Rachel Burden (Radio 5 Live's Breakfast presenter) Clive Grunshaw (newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire) and Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood), led sessions covering different aspects of leadership from the world of business, politics, education and voluntary work. The highly skilled volunteer team made sure everyone enjoyed themselves, but at the same time deepened the learning experience for each individual through a carefully planned personal development programme.
HOBY UK has developed into a truly International experience with observers from Iraq and volunteers and delegates from the USA and Eire this year.
The young delegates soon got over their shyness and quickly made new friends. Over the four days they learned new skills, tackled many challenging tasks and had lots of fun at the same time. When parents arrived to listen to the final presentations and take home their daughters and sons, they were amazed at the confidence, determination and positive outlooks they had developed over such a short time.
Modelled on a long-established American youth leadership organisation, HOBY UK is run by a team of dedicated volunteers, who believe the programme is a tremendously powerful tool for transforming the lives of young people. It empowers them to discover their leadership potential and it creates the leadership capacity to change communities for the better.
HOBY UK aim is to develop the leaders of the future. There were thirty four young volunteer leaders helping to facilitate this year's event, all of whom had been inspired by the HOBY UK programme. They were selected from a long list of applicants on the basis of their active involvement in volunteering work in their community.
Three of last year‟s delegates followed up their UK experience by taking part in HOBY‟s 10 day World Leadership Congress at Loyola University Chicago and at the end of this year‟s seminar, deserving delegates were invited to apply to represent the UK at further leadership development seminars. Some hope to visit Chicago this July and others will take part in the „Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life‟ seminar in Dublin in July five of last year‟s delegates attended ASLFL in 2012.Delegates are now drawing on all their newly acquired leadership skills to raise the money to fund the trip.
Quotes from this year’s guest speakers.
"This is my second time at HOBY UK and there is clearly a lot of enthusiasm. The young people get a lot out of it." Arif Ansari (BBC‟s Political Editor in the North West)
"What shines is the enthusiasm that people have…it is a really good initiative: unique and distinct. HOBY clearly works; everybody is involved and engaged. It will be intriguing to see where HOBY UK goes from here" Clive Grunshaw (newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire)
"I really enjoyed coming to HOBY UK for the second time, there is lots of energy, enquiring minds and it takes me out of my comfort zone….. It‟s the kind of thing I would have loved to have done when I was at school" Rachel Burden (Radio 5 Live‟s Breakfast presenter)
"I was impressed by how seriously the young people were about serious issues." Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood)
Below are some of the comments written by previous delegates and volunteers:
I have work experience this week so I'm going to use the skills I learnt at HOBY to talk to all the new people I will meet, how will you use your skills? HOBY isn't just four days, it's a way of life.
Just called up Red Cross about volunteering and said 'I found out about you from HOBY‟
Once a year HOBY comes round just for 4 days, and in those 4 days it's unbelievable how much you realise things, either about yourself, or other people. HOBY is a lifelong experience that I wish EVERYBODY could share. The people you meet each year are guaranteed friends for life who you can rely on. Oh, and being told that you have made an impact on people's lives? Well, that just tops it off!
Thank you so so much for making me so much happier with who I am. I've already started to apply to volunteer so I can make sure I return next year for HOBY 2014
Without you I wouldn't have built my confidence the way I have. I felt I could be whoever I wanted to be at HOBY. Thank you for making my experience so enriching.
I have learnt so much and it has definitely changed the way I think about everything. EVERY child in the UK needs HOBY. Thank you for the privilege of being part of such an amazing organisation".
My outlook on leadership is completely different. I now feel I can make a difference to the world around me.
I believe in myself so much more.
I WILL change the world. I learnt this at HOBY.
We met some great people, we gained lots of friends from different places and many people had more confidence by the end.
It was an amazing experience.
I would love to come back!
HOBY was the best thing I've been to. I learnt so much, including about myself. I met amazing people: delegates, leaders and guests. Thank you X X.
All of the leaders at HOBY UK were fantastic. Everyone was fun and enthusiastic and were brilliant. They made this experience fantastic and kept us motivated.
The seminar has made me realise I can‟ change the world in a massive way, but just change the community around me.
You inspired me to help people.
It's not often you get the opportunity to speak to the Vice Chancellor of a university, and I really appreciated your words.
I have never been so confident, or felt so good about myself.
Thanks for everything. You made me see a whole new side of me I have never seen before. I never used to stand up in front of an audience, but my confidence has really grown. I have made new friends and I have remembered to be confident, be unique, be myself – no excuses. I will never forget it.
When I am ever down, I am going to think of HOBY and what good friends I have made.
You really made a difference to the way I think.
I have gained a huge amount of confidence and have found a lot about me that I do like!
You've changed so many lives, especially me.
Thanks for your presentation. I really started to think about my mates and their habits, and I have decided to stop hanging around with them and find some proper friends, before something bad happens.
HOBY UK is led by John Sharples, who is also headteacher of Sir Thomas Boteler Church of England High School in Warrington
01925 636414 (sch)
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