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Seb Coe and Jonathan Edwards celebrate London 2012 Young Leaders success

Release date:
10 April 2012

Two year personal development scheme supported by BP will see Young Leaders play a high profile role at Games time.


Today, young people from Aberdeen, Hull, and London will celebrate their 2 year participation in the London 2012 Young Leaders Programme, with LOCOG Chair, Seb Coe and double Olympic champion, Jonathan Edwards, before they take up high profile roles at the London 2012 Games.


The event at the British Museum, marks their achievements on the programme and looks ahead as they prepare for their roles as Games Makers at the London 2012 Games.


The programme, supported by BP, has seen the Young Leaders take part in a 2 year training programme designed to improve their inter-personal, communication and leadership skills. Over this period, the Young Leaders have been involved in a number of outstanding volunteering opportunities delivered by national youth volunteering charity, vInspired, the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and Aberdeen Foyer, in and around BP’s four main hub locations of Canary Wharf, Sunbury-on-Thames, Hull and Aberdeen. They have also received one-to-one leadership coaching from BP employees.


Through the Young Leaders Programme, London 2012 set out to give a group of young people the chance to make a positive change to their lives and their communities through an intensive personal development programme, culminating in a high profile volunteering role at Games time.


Seb Coe, Chair of London 2012, said: "As part of our original bid for London 2012, we made a commitment to deliver a programme that would engage and inspire young people. It is therefore with deep gratification that we see these young people graduate from the Young Leaders Programme today.


We are proud to say that the volunteers will play a pivotal role in making London 2012 a great Games. Through creating a programme that encourages positive change not just to individuals, but also their communities, we are happy to have fulfilled our promise of placing young people at the heart of our Games."


Ian Duffy from BP commented: “As a London 2012 partner, BP is enormously proud to have been involved so closely with this excellent programme. It has been a wonderful experience for the BP coaches who have taken part. We are delighted to have been a part of a programme which aims to spread the spirit of the Games in a very practical way so that London 2012 will not only be a great sporting success, but will also will have been an inspiration to a new generation of leaders. It has been a great privilege for BP to work with this group of young people and help them prepare for their roles in London 2012.”


Dame Kelly Holmes said: “It is so important for young people to have these types of outstanding opportunities, which will allow them to grow and reach their full potential. We have been very pleased to have been involved in their journey to the Games. The programme will have a long lasting effect and will act as a valuable model for communities in the future.“


Jayne Colquhoun, COO of vInspired, said: “The capacity of these young people to rise to the occasion and go above and beyond has been astonishing. The Young Leaders have not only brought about positive change in their communities, but have also shown their true leadership potential. The Young Leaders Programme has equipped them with the skills to have a permanent impact on their communities and on wider society. It has been a pleasure to help deliver this exciting programme and we wish each Young Leader the very best as they continue on their journey to the Games.”


Katie Lowe, Young Leader from Aberdeen said: “I have more confidence since taking part in the Young Leaders programme, and I’m more punctual and tolerant too. While I’ve always been a natural leader, I’ve learned that I don’t need to be in control all the time in order to lead a team well. The prospect of being involved in London 2012 as a Games Maker is so exciting and I’m really looking forward to putting all the things we’ve learnt as Young Leaders into practice when I’m meeting spectators from all around the world. I live in the North East of Scotland where experiences like this hardly ever come around, so being given this opportunity means the world to me.”

London 2012 Young Leaders supported by BP

The London 2012 Young Leaders Programme is designed to give young people, who otherwise would not have the opportunity, the chance to make positive change to their lives and their communities. This will be achieved by participation in a number of remarkable volunteering opportunities based around BP’s four main hub locations of Canary Wharf, Sunbury-on-Thames, Hull and Aberdeen.


Young people were selected in teams of five from a variety of local authorities, based on proximity to BP’s four hub locations of:

  • Hull
  • Aberdeen
  • Canary Wharf
  • Sunbury-upon- Thames

 The delivery team worked with the Head of Children’s Services in the selected local authorities to agree a definition of disadvantage, which will reflect the needs of each particular area. The young people were chosen by Local Authorities on the basis of their commitment to the programme and their potential to benefit from it.


The young people have been undertaking a training programme for 2 years designed to improve their communication and leadership skills, with training delivered at a local, regional and national level through workshops, mentoring programmes and events.


The Young Leaders have developed and delivered a range of volunteering opportunities in their local community supported by the programmes’ delivery partners vInspired, ‘The National Young Volunteers Service’, the Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and Aberdeen Foyer. They have received leadership coaching from one hundred BP employees and a number of high profile athlete mentors many of whom are Olympians and Paralympians, to help them along their way.


The selected Young Leaders who complete the programme have the chance to put their leadership skills into action and play an important role as a volunteer in the London 2012 volunteer programme. The Young Leaders will apply their expertise gained through local volunteering experience and coaching by BP employees, playing their part in ensuring athletes, media, and spectators get the most out of the greatest show on Earth coming to the UK.


Visit the Young Leaders website: www.london2012.com/youngleaders

Follow the Young Leaders on Facebook: www.facebook.com/london2012youngleaders

vInspired, The National Young Volunteers Service

  • vInspired, The National Young Volunteers Service, aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers (aged 14-25) across England.
  • We do this by creating a diverse range of volunteering and social action opportunities to help young people take action to improve lives, communities and the planet.
  • 2011 is the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in the European Union, putting a spotlight on volunteering across Europe to help create a culture of giving time. v has been appointed as an official partner, working with Catch22 to deliver the Children & Young People spotlight theme.
  • See www.vinspired.com for more information on what we do and how we do it.

Further information




BP press office, London, +44 (0)20 7496 4076, bppress@bp.com