Young people from disadvantaged areas often don’t enjoy the same head-start in life as others their age.
Half of all children under five-years-old born into low-income households aren’t living with both their parents (that’s seven times as many as those in the richest households).
They are six times more likely to leave school without qualifications than any other children, which means they’re less likely to find employment.
One young person we know told us, ‘No one in my family has a job. About half of the adults I know are unemployed.’
But we believe these young people have just as much potential as anyone else to bring about change – in their own lives, and also in their community.
That’s why we started, back in 2010, borne out of Innovista International, an Oxford-based leadership organization. Find out more about Innovista International.
Our purpose is to develop young people to bring hope and lasting change to disadvantaged communities.
Because we know that despite their often difficult circumstances, these young people have energy, passion and creativity. They know what their communities need, and have the ideas and the influence to make them better places. We’ve seen them bring about change not only in themselves, but also in their own communities.
Our vision is to see disadvantaged communities changed for good through the service of young people.
We want to see life chances increase and people released to be the best version of themselves. We want to see whole community transformation through young people – resilient, confident, purposeful and skilled young leaders – who have overcome crises and hurdles in their own lives and are cheerleading others along the same path.
We know that these young people can act as positive role models and inspire the next generation to reach their fullest potential too.
Because as one young person we met says, ‘If you had a choice between two youth workers, one from a ‘rich’ background who knew nothing about what it was like to grow up on an estate, or one who had grown up on an estate and knew how tough it was, who would you rather talk to about your problems?’
“Working together, we’ve been able to bring hope to young people with low aspirations, with positive role models and mentoring, to help them develop and grow.”
Andrew Longmore, Pastor, Leys Communty Church