...it’s great to work on a project that will hopefully have a real impact on other young people.
A kind-hearted group of teenagers from across Cheshire and Merseyside are making their mark by designing an inclusion and diversity badge to be sold nationally for PRIDE month, raising valuable funds for the Scout and Guide movement at the same time.
The team of 16-18 year-olds all completed National Citizen Service (NCS) in 2018 and have since been selected to form the regional youth board, undertaking projects to benefit their local communities and shaping the unique NCS teen-empowerment programme for future participants. The youth board, which comprises 18 teens from across Cheshire and Merseyside, has joined forces with Pawprint Badges to create a PRIDE-themed collectable embroidered badge and activity pack for use by youth group leaders, teachers and parents. Funds raised from the sale of the badges will be distributed as grants to young members of the Scout and Guide Associations.
Carole-Anne Huxley, 17, from Seaforth in Merseyside, was part of the Pawprint workshop which created the badge design and pack of associated learning aids. These include games, craft and food activities, suitable for young people to think about diversity and what it means to them. The badge design consists of four puzzle pieces, each with a different theme.
Carole-Anne, a St. Mary’s College A-level student, undertook NCS in the summer of 2018 and has relished the opportunity to continue her involvement as part of the regional youth board.
“NCS is all about meeting new people, embracing new challenges and understanding the diverse culture we all share,” she said.
“Forming your own identity is also a huge part of growing up, so it’s great to work on a project that will hopefully have a real impact on other young people – both with the PRIDE badge and what it stands for, and the money we’re raising as a result.
“I personally enjoyed talking about the interpretation of PRIDE and to understand what others take from it, all of which we’ve incorporated into the badge design.”
PRIDE month recognises and celebrates equality and diversity, specifically the influence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex culture (LGBT+).
NCS is a government-backed programme for year 11 and 12 students, delivered regionally by Ingeus, which encourages community and social cohesion by building skills for work and life. NCS graduates are subsequently given access to a range of exclusive opportunities to undertake training, work experience, attend events, and support community-based social action projects.
Pawprint Badges design challenge badges, all of which are supported with free activity packs and resources, suitable for all ages and abilities. Co-founder of Pawprint Badges, Charlotte Russell said:
“The NCS regional youth board members did a terrific job at the workshop, all inputting ideas and insight. This is a badge designed by young people, for young people, about a topic that’s clearly important to them. We really hope that youth leaders and parents will use the NCS-designed badge and free resources to theme lessons and talks to young people during PRIDE month.”