Little Ambassadors praised for making a difference in Corby

Members of the Exeter Little Ambassadors scheme in Corby
Members of the Exeter Little Ambassadors scheme in Corby

Youngsters have been praised for making a difference in their community after joining an award-winning scheme.

The Exeter Little Ambassadors project was launched by Inspiring Neighbourhoods CIC in 2013 on the Exeter estate in Corby.

We are so proud of all they have achieved

Brenda Easton

The aim was to empower children to become community activists and champion changes that are important to them, and residents are now benefiting from the hard work and determination of its young members.

Successes include an overgrown recreational area on the estate which has been cleared up and the youngsters have managed to get it put on the maintenance contract.

They have also organised various activities for older participants at the Autumn Centre.

They had a vision for a new play park to meet the needs of their age group and not only did the Little Ambassadors identify the need for the play area, they helped design it, selected the equipment, raised funds for it, gave presentations on the project and successfully won funding for the scheme.

Inspiring Neighbourhoods director Brenda Easton said: “The aim of Little Ambassadors is to learn processes that give them the ability to effect change.

“We are so proud of all they have achieved.

“They have a growing confidence in their abilities, maturity in their outlook and shown a sense of commitment way beyond their years.”

Kai Campbell, 12, a pupil at Lodge Park Academy, Corby, who lives on the Exeter estate, said: “We held a walkabout on the estate and saw where improvements could be made.

“We were pleased with the environmental changes, we wanted a park but thought it was pie in the sky.

“It was a long process but all the hard work paid off.

“I’ve learned so much from taking part in the project.”

Adam McAlinden, 14, who also lives on the Exeter estate and attends Lodge Park Academy, took part in workshops and presentations to make the play area dream come true.

He said: “At first I was nervous but we have achieved what we wanted to and I’ve learned so much from taking part.

“It was really interesting and great fun.”

The Exeter Little Ambassadors was the pilot scheme for the project, but the project has now been delivered to more than 90 children in various schools and estates.

Corby councillor John McGhee, who has provided funding for the pilot of the Little Ambassadors project, said: “It is fantastic to see the Little Ambassadors from the Exeter estate having such an impact in the area where they live.

“I have been impressed by their commitment and understanding of the processes involved in making the changes.

“Inspiring Neighbourhoods takes a unique approach to working with children, involving them at every stage of the project.

“I am pleased to have been able to support this project and to see all their improvements including the playground on the Exeter estate coming to fruition.

“This is testament to the hard work and efforts of everyone at Inspiring Neighbourhoods.”

The Exeter Little Ambassadors project won the Jimmy Kane Young Spirit of Corby award in 2014 with youngsters Jack Difolco, Beth Hughes, Kayden McAlinden, Kylie Campbell, Kai Campbell and Adam Mcilinden.