Archbishop’s Young Leaders Award joins Church’s National Education Team

18/07/2022

An award for Young Leaders is set to take on a greater national focus as part of the National Society for Promoting Religious Education’s responsibility in England and Wales.
A ground of school children around a table writing on a piece of paper

The Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust (ABYYT) was established over 12 years ago by the then Archbishop of York, John Sentamu. Since then it has worked with some 130,000 young people aged five to 18 at more than 1,000 schools through its Young Leaders Award.

This award equips children and young people in character education, builds their leadership skills and faith development, and empowers them to undertake a variety of transformational social action projects in their local communities.

The ABYYT has also run other development opportunities for young people, including pilgrimages to Taizé in France, and is in the second year of running the National Younger Leadership Groups, which help develop leadership skills and character virtues for young people, in partnership with the Church of England Education team.

The Trustees are confident that the new partnership with the National Society will provide a firm footing for this important work to continue, and for more schools and young people to benefit from participation in the award. This includes plans to bring it to many more schools, Dioceses and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs) across the rest of England, and also into Wales.  

The ABYYT has received generous funding from the Benefact Trust over the past four years which has helped the project to develop and grow, among numerous wider stakeholders, donors and funders over the past 12 years.

The Award will be renamed “The Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award”, and the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust will no longer exist as an independent charity.

Revd Canon Nigel Genders, Chief Executive of the National Society, said: “The National Society is delighted to be able to secure the future of The Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award and it will form an exciting part of our overall strategy to be developing leaders, shaping policy and growing faith.”

Bishop Robert Springett, Chair of Trustees, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for the excellent work of the ABYYT to go from strength to strength under the national Education Team. Their connections with so many schools, Dioceses and MATs will bring the award to many more pupils and see the legacy of the Youth Trust extended long into the future.”

Some members of the current Youth Trust team will join the national Education Office’s team, under the leadership of Executive Director of Education, Andy Wolfe, who commented: “We are thrilled to be bringing this amazing award to many more schools, Dioceses and MATs through our extensive national partnerships where our work developing educational leaders at scale through the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership can be extended to the development of young leaders across England and Wales.”

The strong links which ABYYT currently fosters with community schools will also continue to be developed and grown under the new plans. This is core to the values and work of the Trust and its employees.

Further information for schools, Dioceses and MATs looking to get involved from September 2022 onwards can currently be found at www.abyyt.com