As you may have seen this time last week, we are starting to post reviews of our Leadership Award Holders’ Community Action Placements. We are receiving their evaluations and reviews every day, and it has been truly inspiring to read about our Leadership Award Holders and their wonderful hosts.

This week, we’ll be looking at Joe who went to Hexham Youth Initiative, Shauna who went to Cool FM at Bauer Academy, and Ishaq who went to Essex Boys and Girls Clubs.

Joe Vaughan, one of our second year Leadership Award Holders, went on his final CAP placement to Hexham Youth Initiative in Northumberland.

“The whole experience has been really enjoyable. The highlights of my placement have been making friends with the workers but especially the children of Hexham.  I found that experience to  be very heart warming and has made my placement special. On several days I went to local parks and organised and oversaw numerous sporting activities. These days were particularly rewarding as I got to see the children enjoy something I love myself. I enjoyed several trips to the woods as well as to Diggerland which were brilliant in many respects. Not only did I get to have a fun experience, but I  got the opportunity to bond with some of the children and witness many others’ excitement and joy which was really fantastic. Finally I assisted the organisation and running of the HYI science day. This event was excellent for me personally as well as the  children there because my real passion in life is for biology and science so this day allowed me experience young people get as excited as I am for the subject and hopefully inspire them to pursue their natural  scientific interests. Overall, these have been two brilliant weeks in which I have made many great friendships and met even more wonderful people. I will thoroughly miss the people of Hexham and especially the HYI and am looking excitingly forward to returning here for more voluntary work in future Summers.”

Shauna Armstrong, another one of our second year award holders, commuted to her non-residential placement at Cool FM in Northern Ireland.

“I have found this placement extremely rewarding. The impact it is making on young people’s lives is very evident, as it is teaching them essential skills, such as self-confidence and communication, which will help them to go on and improve their quality of life. The group of young people I worked with were very engaged and enthusiastic, and one way I used my leadership skills was helping them to break the ice and get to know each other. David and Rebecca, and all the Cool FM staff have been very welcoming and have given me numerous opportunities to practice and improve my leadership skills. I believe that this placement has been hugely beneficial to me. I was given a chance to create and present a PowerPoint to help educate the group we were working with on STEM, which allowed me to practice public speaking. I was able to practice and improve all my leadership skills such as: time management, encouraging the group and communication skills. I also learned a lot about radio and how it works while on this placement and I even gave an interview which a group included in their podcast.”


Ishaq Raheel, another one of our second year Leadership Award Holders, did his first ever CAP placement with Essex Boys and Girls Clubs, whom we have been organising placements with for many, many years.

“My initial expectations of the placement were very different to what it turned out to be. I thought it would just be a typical summer camp where young people camp in tents and have activities which are already set, for example tug of war and other similar activities. I didn’t really have an idea of how it would actually go. However, it turned out to be mentally challenging at times where tolerance and patience were required.  One of my main aims of my placement was to improve my communication skills with people younger than me as well as older than me. 

Personally, I really did enjoy my placement. I would love to do it again and may consider it next year. The staff were really nice and helpful. I met some really lovely people who I worked alongside and learnt a lot from about working with young people.  I really enjoyed being with the group which I was with for the two weeks. During the placement there were times where I had been with people who had autism and at different severities; I feel like I now have a much better understanding of autism. Through observations of the site managers I learnt of different ways to deal with situations which involve a large number of people. Overall I feel as I have learnt a lot from the placement and it has definitely helped me develop my communication skills overall.

We are always looking to the charities we work with to help provide placements for CAP. With the demand for placements getting higher each year, we are looking to expand the group of charities that we work with on CAP, so if you think your organisation might be able to help, and you have an existing relationship with The Rank Foundation, please get in touch so we can give you more information.