It has been ReachOut's most successful year, which wouldn't have been possible without our cohort of Project Leaders. The Leadership Programme has just finished its second year, so we came together with our team of over 50 Project Leaders to celebrate their achievements this year. We met at Mintel in London, with a group from the North-West travelling down so we could get everyone all together. 

As everyone arrived, we encouraged the Project Leaders and the rest of the staff to write down their highlights from the year. Including:

"Completing my first year as a Project Leader, getting to know my mentees and building my confidence."

"Seeing my mentees consistently support each other throughout the year."

"A mentee who never did sport, doing sport!"

After an icebreaker game, we took our seats for some speeches and awards! ReachOut CEO Peter Blackwell kicked things off by talking about how the Leadership Programme has grown throughout the past couple of years. He had visited the majority of projects throughout the last year and was extremely impressed with the quality of sessions which were produced by the Project Leaders. 

We also had speeches from Senior Project Leader in London, Anna Howard, and Project Leader in Manchester, Russell Scott. 

"Being a Project Leader at ReachOut has been such a fantastic experience in more ways than I ever expected. I've developed so much both personally and professionally, in my delivery with young people, my ability to adapt to pretty much any situation as well as growing in confidence to speak to large groups of people and go with the flow." - Anna

Next up we announced the following award-winners:

Award London winner North-West winner
Character Creativity Award - for the Project Leader who has used character in their project throughout the year in the most creative ways. Laura Bradnam - for her super creative activities during sessions. The girls in her group go to be the heroes of their own future self. An efficient way to raise aspiration, confidence and leave the mentees with a positive book about themselves for them to hold onto. Jeronee Jennycloss - she has always incorporated character into her sessions and is always clear in her brief with mentees. She has been excellent at developing her mentees through their character journey and making every session enjoyable.
The I <3 ReachOut Award - for the Project Leader who has been with ReachOut for over two years and has demonstrated a lot of passion for ReachOut. Ayulie Dabor - he has grown in the last academic year, becoming a confident and competent Project Leader. He empowers all of the young people in his sessions. Daniel Tanner - he will talk to absolutely anyone about ReachOut - you can't stop him! This passion is carried into his project and he somehow manages to find time to help out with any event he can. He even took on an additional project half way through the year.
The Staying Power Award - for the Project Leader who has displayed Staying Power through adversity on their project. Poppy Glaister - the behaviour of her group has improved immensely throughout the year. Poppy showed fortitude, resilience and class and kept calm when things got tough, making her mentors feel more at ease. Tom Taylor - he had worked extremely hard to engage his mentees. Despite some challenging sessions, he arrives every week ready to start fresh and has led some excellent activities.
The Boss Award - for the Project Leader who has shown incredible management skills with their project, from good and timely admin to great relationships with their mentors.  Thomas Myatt - He is super reliable, quick to address issues and implement feedback. He is organised, timely and has a great relationship with both his mentees and mentors. Amy McCutcheon - after starting the year as a mentor, she took over a challenging group in January. Through hard work she has been able to build great relationships and the progress in her mentees' behaviour and engagement has been incredible.
Ran the Extra Mile Award - for the Project Leader who has gone above and beyond just project leading, but has also been involved in wider ReachOut events. Hannah Bennett - has literally "ran the extra mile" after running the Hackney Half Marathon as part of the Big ReachOut Raise. She has also taken on 2 projects this year, showing her passion for working with young people.  Jacinta Madukaife - she has helped recruit mentors at fresher fairs, has covered projects and has even helped to recruit the next generation of Project Leaders by promoting it to her mentors and holding mock interviews!
The "I've Got Your Back" Award - for the Project Leader who has supported their fellow Project Leaders. Ellie Sterling - although she only joined the ReachOut team in January, Ellie has made a huge impact by covering other Project Leaders and creating an incredible sense of community on her own project which was lacking before she joined. Russell Scott - he has been so supportive to both ReachOut staff and other Project Leaders this year. He goes above and beyond to have everyone's backs by covering sessions and sharing his amazing activity ideas.
Sense of Community Award - for the Project Leader who has created a community vibe on their project, creating a fun atmosphere for their mentors. Melissa Agnew - she has organised socials for her mentors, many of whom stay for the second hour of sports. Everyone gets on well in the group and has such a great time together. Jodie Gow - she has formed an incredible community feel on her project. She has a welcoming presence and plans fun sessions which has inspired four of her mentors to apply to become Project Leaders next year.

Congratulations to all of the award winners, as well as ALL of the Project Leaders who graduated this year.

We then headed to a well-deserved meal at The Folly, where we chatted about some of the memories from the past year and said goodbye to some of the Project Leaders who will be moving on from the position.

If you would like to be a part of the ReachOut Leadership Programme from September 2019 to June 2020, we're accepting applications until 31st July! Get involved and be part of this incredible team, give back to your local community, make a difference to young people and develop your own leadership skills. Click here for more information.