As part of the Peer Action Collective (PAC), five changemakers from Women 4 Change in Leicester designed and delivered a social action project named SparkTheChange.
The aim of the project was to make a positive change in the community by providing educational workshops for young people aged 11-25. The changemakers hired a hall to deliver Doorstep Sport, allowing young people to learn through playing and make friends. The SparkTheChange team also invited individuals who looked like them from the community, working in professional roles such as GPs, radiographers, nurses, teachers and business owners. This inspired the young people as they felt empowered to be ambitious and excited about their future.
“I didn’t expect to get a role model but I’m thankful this project has changed my mind.”
The changemakers also invited young people to visit the elderly and deliver fun activities in an independent living facility in St Matthews. The people living here often don’t have visitors; the team of changemakers and young people from Women 4 Change therefore worked hard to create a happy and fun environment to socialise and take part in activities together.
The impact of this project has been felt across the community, including:
- Changing the community’s negative perception of young people, as changemakers met and worked to create a positive change.
- Changing the perception of volunteering amongst young people; it was often hard to recruit prior to this project, whilst now, young people are coming forward to volunteer at Women 4 Change.
- Improving the mindsets and wellbeing of the young people involved and the elderly members of the community.
- Overcoming stigmas during the educational workshops to make young people aware of their rights and restorative justice.
The changemakers involved have been pivotal to the project. They have developed their skills, knowledge and behaviours including:
- Showing commitment and consistency to deliver the project.
- Growing in confidence and gaining a sense of belonging in their community.
- Acknowledging their ability to make a difference.
- Experiencing the feel-good factor associated with volunteering.
- Feeling seen and appreciated.
“The changemakers gave those who were voiceless a voice and those who had no knowledge on certain matters the power to learn in a safe space without any judgement.”