Learn From Lancashire Leadership for a Future Filled with Efficient Energy Costs
At a time when everyone looks for a better leader that what had come before it's how you treat youth today that will dictate the choices of our economy of tomorrow.
Mol an óige agus tiocfaidh said is an old Irish saying.
It’s something I used to hear when I was growing up. But times were different back then, for one we weren’t growing up throughout a pandemic. But we were still young and had all the hopes and dreams that have been stifled for many youths during these past couple of years.
And that’s what this old saying concentrates on, the hopes and dreams of youth. For it champions young people and hails them as the ones who will lead us all when they eventually arrive at the gate of adulthood. More specifically, it states that if you praise the youth then their time will come.
But when you`re young you think your time is now. You`re not used to waiting. You don’t want to wait, you just want to get on with things and jump into life with action.
And that’s not a bad thing, after all, young people tend to have boundless energy and a zest for life that older people don’t seem to generate.
Yet many youths need direction because without it they can pump their energy into areas that will end up draining their abilities and make them feel as if they don’t have a sense of purpose in the world. That’s why youth work is important as it provides that guide rail from the terrors of the teen years through to the responsibilities of adulthood.
But too many governments overlook the importance of what this type of work gives to society and then they look back years later and wonder why their citizens are not better people.
Yet, if you show what great leadership is to young people at a pivotal time in their life then they`ll prosper and take that lead and push forward and lead others in time.
This is exactly what Guy Christiansen has done with Lancashire Youth Challenge.
There, young people are nurtured and supported to overcome barriers and obstacles so that they can achieve personal success. In doing so, they learn and develop new skills that make them better human beings. And there have been impacting studies in the past couple of years that have shown anecdotal evidence of change-making in young people’s lives which has demonstrated that the young people have gone to replicate that change for others too.
And Christiansen knows that this impact is making waves of positive change throughout his county.
This was illustrated perfectly when he told me about the background of the Lancashire Youth Challenge recently. That project was instigated with the arrival of the Olympic Games in London back in 2012. Thanks to investment from the Cultural Olympiad Programme a team of 16 young cyclists from across Lancashire along with youth workers and humble volunteers cycled around Lancashire County for 6 days. Each day they had a mini-arts festival where they showcased their artistic talent. It linked sports and exercise with community and youth work uniquely and socially. And such was its success that it provided a significant step forward to what is happening even a decade later
As a result of this huge benefit was obtained by the youth of the project.
They learned new skills, fostered real and meaningful friendships, experienced shared learning, and most notably tackled territorial tension for the young people involved. And down the road, the project became the catalyst for the birth of Lancashire Youth Challenge as a registered charity that prospers to this very day and gives youth a place to grow and develop with a focused intention to mature as good citizens.
As a result of this experience, the Lancashire youth challenge now provides a very unique service to young people. They spend three to four evenings a week with their youth for a couple of years. In so doing, they provide sustainable guidance and a permanent source of leadership in young people’s lives.
And although the service is run by Christiansen, he is aided by a big pool of volunteers who chip in their expertise to the young people regularly without seeking any money for their work.
It seems ironic then that there is a cost of living crisis largely dictated by energy supplies when the energies of youth are not being rewarded instead. Because its youth projects like that of Lancashire who has experienced cutbacks owing to the last recession in 2008, yet it’s their young people that are continually coming up with ideas of how to create a better world for us all.
Surely if the leadership that came from the central government recognized how vital services like the Lancashire youth challenge were then they`d see how if you praise the youth they will come and be better leaders for everyone around them tomorrow. As these youth have already shown adaptability in the face of a pandemic of hopelessness, they could steer many away from a future filled with the impending glooms of global warming, war, pandemics, and inefficient economic practices.
After all, these young leaders of today have collectively shown more resilience than their predecessors at this age and have come out the other side driven to succeed with a thirst for getting out and about and creating a positive future for all.