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14 Feb

Roses rivals unite around the biggest challenges facing young people today.

The fourth instalment of the Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme’s Unity of the Roses event will return at Leeds Beckett University this February half-term (Tuesday 18 February). The event aims to connect 24 young people from across Yorkshire and Lancashire by discussing pressing issues in their local communities.

The Wicketz programme led by the Lord’s Taverners and delivered by the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Lancashire Cricket Foundation in Hull, Bradford and Manchester, gives opportunities for young people living in areas if deprivation to take part in cricket and enjoy physical activity regardless of background, circumstances or ability.

The programme, which runs in 19 locations across the UK, is about more than getting young people playing cricket, it provides wider opportunities to develop social and personal skills such as confidence, respect, teamwork and leadership as well as health awareness and life skills workshops.

Having explored two common topics – mental health and academic aspiration – in our previous outings to Manchester and Hull, Unity of the Roses has seen Development Officers lead the way when organising workshops for the participants but this time around they have taken a step back from setting the agenda; paving the way for the young voices of the red and white rose Wicketz communities to be front and centre.

Before arriving at the Headingley campus for a day of cricket and workshop activities, young people from Hull, Bradford and Manchester will have taken a collective step together. Led by the weekly cricket participation of the Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme; a workshop series will navigate the experiences of the young people across a broad range of societal problems, reflecting on how the resilience of these individuals have helped shaped them today.

Lord’s Taverners Wicketz programme Manager, Dan Wilson said: “It is vitally important that the young people we work with on the Wicketz programme mould the work that we do, so that they feel empowered to make a difference within their communities. The latest instalment of the Unity of the Roses is a great example of the bottom up approach we take when working with communities.

The young people we work with know better than anybody else what the issues are affecting them, so it is our duty to listen and give them the tools to overcome them.”

Lancashire Cricket Foundation’s Community Programme Manager Howard Shore added: “Through the weekly coaching sessions over the last 18 months in Manchester, Bradford and Hull, we’ve each developed a strong relationship with our groups of young people. Using this bond to empower them to share issues which affect them daily, step back and compare this to the rest of the UK, then share their experiences with other Wicketz communities has been very rewarding and demonstrates how we can use the cricketing passion and enthusiasm these young people have to impact their personal development.”

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