Leadership course changes young lives

Six young people from Suffolk, sponsored by the Police and Crime Commissioner to participate in this year’s Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA), have successfully completed the personal development programme.

During the week these six young people joined a group of 50 others in a variety of team and self-confidence building activities at Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire.

Previous candidates have linked success in job interviews to the experience they gained through the RYLA development programme. Over the past few years one candidate went on manage a community café in Felixstowe, one joined the police, one young man secured an apprenticeship with Suffolk Carers, and another from RYLA 2014 is in her final year in medicine at University College London, indeed all have benefited from the RYLA experience.

The six young people sponsored by the PCC this year – Xinnyusa 20 from Lowestoft, Jemma 19 from Sudbury, Lanai 19 from Ipswich, Christopher 22 from Lowestoft, Paul 24 and Cole 22 both from Ipswich – have all discovered or developed new skills. Over the past six years more than 30 young people have been sponsored by the PCC, many from difficult backgrounds.

Jemma, who successfully graduated from this 2019 course said “It really has been a life changing experience and something I will never forget. It has increased my ambition to join the police force and has made me grow in confidence massively.”

The RYLA experience was made possible by a £3,320 grant from the PCC’s Crime and Disorder Reduction fund, which to awarded to organisations to secure, or contribute to securing, crime and disorder reduction in Suffolk and delivery of Suffolk’s Police and Crime Plan.

Speaking as the young people graduated from the course Tim Passmore said, “Once again I am delighted to sponsor these places for young people from Suffolk to take part in this leadership course. The aim of the course is to give young people the opportunity to build confidence, work as part of a team and build leadership qualities and I have seen at first-hand what a difference it makes in such a short time.

“I attended the dinner at the end of the course and was humbled to hear the young people talking about this being a life-changing experience and how much positive thinking contributes to their overall well-being. I wish all the participants the very best of luck for the future.”


Pictured left to right are: The six young people sponsored by the PCC to take part in the RYLA Leadership Awards scheme – Xinnyusa, Cole, Christopher, Paul, Jemma, Lanai and the PCC.