Team London education award
Team London Character Award presentation

Team London Ambassadors programme wins DfE Character Award

30 June 2016

Team London Young Ambassadors, the Mayor's volunteering programme for schools, is delighted to have won the DfE Character Award for Greater London. The awards were introduced in 2015 by the Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education. They celebrate excellence and aim to encourage programmes which develop traits like confidence, perseverance and resilience in young people; traits that support academic attainment, are valued by employers and enable young people to make a positive contribution to society. 

Team London Young Ambassadors aims to build the next generation of volunteers by inspiring and supporting young people to develop community projects on social issues they are passionate about. Since the programme was established in 2013, over 95,000 young people across the capital have improved their school or local area by setting up a wide range of projects which address issues such as food poverty, homelessness, bullying, connecting generations and improving the environment.

Schools who participate in the programme receive workshops, inspiring assemblies and youth summits. They are also supported with handbooks, campaign kits, and help from adult volunteers known as Borough Ambassadors. The young volunteers' achievements are recognised in several ways: the chance to attend WE Day UK (a global celebration of young people making a difference in their communities), the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and the Mayor of London’s Awards.

Young Ambassadors is funded thanks to the support of Spirit of 2012 and Unilever. It is delivered in partnership with educational partner WE Day and is free of charge to the 1,800 state schools participating in the programme.

The Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said:

Volunteering is a wonderful and rewarding way to make a positive difference to our great city. The Team London Young Ambassadors programme does a fantastic job of inspiring young people to foster valuable life skills by becoming active citizens in their local area, and bringing communities together in a way that is now more important than ever. I’m delighted their hard work has been recognised this way, and I hope this encourages even more young Londoners to get involved and play a part in making London an even better place to live.

Commenting on the announcement of the winners, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said:

I congratulate those organisations winning an Award today for their efforts to support young people to develop the positive character traits that can make a difference to thousands of lives. We know that qualities such as self-control, confidence, perseverance and the ability to bounce back from adversity underpin future success and well-being. We want to ensure that all young people have opportunities to develop these traits, and as the Awards show us today, this is something that the best already do.

Natalie Cramp, Director of Team London said:

Character Education is a fundamental part of the programme. Participating teachers have reported significant improvements in academic engagement, university and workplace readiness and active citizenship amongst young people. For example, young people display greater enthusiasm for learning, demonstrate increased leadership amongst their peers, and feel more optimistic about their long-term future. In addition, the programme has increased the school’s connection to the community with young people better understanding local issues and reduced bullying.

Jen D’Souza, Senior Manager, Team London said: 

Team London Young Ambassadors has been going from strength-to- strength since the programme was created in 2013. The Department for Education Regional Character Award is testament to the thousands of young people across London who have been volunteering to support their local community. It is truly incredible to see young people develop through their engagement in the programme in areas such as leadership, confidence, team work, public speaking and respect and understanding for their local community. The success of our programme would not have been possible without the support of Spirit of 2012, Unilever and the Mayor of London. This Award recognises all 1,800 schools and 400,000 young people engaged in the Team London Young Ambassadors programme.