After months of planning, organisation and flurries of emails – the big day had finally arrived. To an outsider, anyone would have thought there was wedding occurring…but it was something much more breath-taking that had the humanutopia team in an excited frenzy on the 8th July.
It was in fact, the morning of the first ever National Heroes Summit.
We rocked up at The Thomas Deacon Academy- our venue for the day - and got set up. There was a nervous excitement as we prepared for the arrival of heroes and teachers from 15 different schools travelling from up and down the country, and we sat down for one last team meeting before the day began. After taking one final glance at the plan for the day, we got the music going and before we knew it – the room was filling up with heroes from a range of different ages, stages and parts of the country and the whole thing started to feel more real. As put by Jordan – it did definitely feel like an ‘Avengers’ moment.
Re-wind about eight months before this moment - and the idea of an event much like the Heroes Summit was all just a distant dream. It was the very first thing that the Youth board had planned and organised as a team: from finding a venue and contacting schools to creating the programme - this mammoth task was a responsibility for the youngest members of the team, and to see it actually happening and coming together was an incredible thing for us all to be a part of.
The day was full of energy, activities and moments of reflection and expression from the young people. One of the biggest highlights of the day has to have been hearing the heroes talk about what it’s meant for them so far to be a hero on their journey, and seeing plans, ideas and excitement around how to go even further to make a change when they get back to their own schools. Not to mention the hilarity of watching the laughter and sheer chaos caused by a game of bobsleigh…
Guest speakers including Paul from YEUK and two of our very own Camp Ambassadors – Mitch and Desree gave the heroes an insight into the future and where their experiences could take them. A passionate speech from Chris Smith (a lead hero at The Wellington Academy)- helped to inspire both heroes and teachers to be more proactive in their schools.
By the end of the day, it was safe to say that no one wanted the experience to be over: new friendships had been formed, fun had filled the room and some awe – inspiring words had been spoken.
The idea behind the summit - is that it gives back to heroes that have made a difference in their schools and to other young people’s lives. It’s an event that shows that they are part of an even bigger team of heroes than their own, and how – united – they can continue to make an even bigger change. The experience this year has spurred us into action to make this an event that not only happens every single year but to ensure that it gets bigger and better each time.
Thank you to all the heroes and teachers - from Walsall to the Isle of Wight – that made the day a success…and look out for your 2017 invite!
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