This month we held an event in London to celebrate the achievements of the young people involved in this year’s AQA Unlocking Potential programme.
AQA deliver this unique mentoring programme alongside the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust (DKHT), to support young people across the country that have faced challenges in their lives. Young people are paired with athlete mentors from the DKHT for a period of eight months, with the aim of building up their confidence and delivering a community project in their local areas.
Several AQA staff volunteer for the programme each year, and they also attended the celebration alongside special guest Dame Kelly Holmes. Here’s what AQA volunteer Beverley Morris took from the day:
"Understanding that young people on the programme had faced a variety of issues and barriers made the success stories even more impressive. One school, the St Lawrence Academy in Scunthorpe, embraced the problems around mental health in younger people, and shared a song that they wrote and performed to raise awareness. This song certainly touched a lot of people and brought a tear to my eye.
"The Dame Kelly Holmes Trust mentors also shared their own stories with the young people. European inline skating champion Danny Aldridge had no qualifications and felt like he was following the wrong path. He was able to work hard and realise his dream of skating professionally. He found the right support and now lives in Spain, teaching others to skate. I’m so proud that AQA have committed to supporting AQA Unlocking Potential for another three years as I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of these young people’s journeys."
Keep an eye on the AQA website for more news about the next AQA Unlocking Potential programme starting in autumn 2017.