A range of ground-breaking community initiatives involving local young people has secured a top award for The ContinU Trust of the Wyre Forest and Hagley – a nationally innovative partnership of local education providers. The Trust scooped the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner’s prestigious ‘Group Champion of the Community’ award at a recent award ceremony, the first of its kind.

The ContinU Trust is a collaboration between education providers and partners in the Wyre Forest & Hagley area, which has, in recent years, in addition to its core educational work, developed a range of community programmes aimed at developing a sense of active citizenship among young people and helping them contribute to wider society. The programmes include initiatives to combat hate crime, to support healthy relationships, physical and mental wellbeing, raising awareness of domestic abuse. A key part of the programmes is the ‘Community Ambassador’ programme which gives Year 10 students from the partner schools the role of leading on the delivery of positive citizenship messages to their peers in school and further afield.

Rob Chadwick, Director of The ContinU Trust, said “this award recognises the efforts made by so many fantastic stakeholders locally and crucially it acknowledges the work of many great young people who are already making their schools and communities better places. It’s an honour to receive it on their behalf and the members of our Trust.”

Nick Parker, Director of Vestia Community Housing, who nominated ContinU for the award said “The ContinU Trust are a key player locally and a great partner to work with”.

The awards were the first ever held in the West Mercia area and recognised the people and organisations who work to help their communities across Herefordshire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Worcestershire. Around 200 people were at the event at Hindlip, to find out who had won seven police categories, three ‘Young Good Citizen’ Awards, and four PCC categories. Other worthy nominees in the Group Category were Herefordshire Women’s Aid and the Telford Street Pastors.

For further information on the work of The ContinU Trust and which schools/colleges are members visit www.continu.org.uk