Posted: Mon 13th Jun 2016

World Heritage Youth Ambassadors Scoop Top Prize /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Jun 13th, 2016

Young people from Torfaen have won a top award for their volunteer work at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The World Heritage Youth Ambassadors, who are made up of young people aged 13 to 25, scooped Group of the Year at the Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards, run by the Welsh Council for Voluntary Action. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The young people were nominated by Blaenavon Town Council for the work they have undertaken at the Blaenavon World Heritage Site, and for their role in hosting the UK UNESCO World Heritage Youth Summit in October 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Kennah Jeavons, 15, said: “Being a youth ambassador and volunteering has been a fantastic opportunity for me. I’ve got to go new places and learn about World Heritage. I’ve met new friends and I’ve learnt to tell people about our own heritage site. It’s been great fun and winning the best volunteering group has been a great success for all of us.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The World Heritage Youth Ambassadors project is fully funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and lead by Torfaen County Borough Council. It aims to empower young people to have a voice and active role in the management of the Blaenavon World Heritage Site. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The group meets regularly and has played an active role in the local community, supporting community events as stewards, planting a wild flower garden at Big Pit National Coal Museum, and working with the National museum of Wales to co-curate an exhibition on the 1984 strikes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

In October 2015 the group helped run the UK UNESCO Youth World Heritage Summit, which saw more than 100 young people come from all over the UK to celebrate and learn about World Heritage. The youth ambassadors were peer mentors, and group and activity leaders for the three day event. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Bob Wellington CBE, leader of Torfaen council and Chair of the Blaenavon Partnership, said: “This prestigious award is a real testimony to the fact the volunteer programme works, and recognises the hard work and dedication of our small but active group of young people. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“They must be commended for giving up their time to make a real difference in our World Heritage Site and the local community in Blaenavon.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

World Heritage Youth Ambassadors are given the chance to take part in a fun activity filled program of events throughout the year to deepen their understanding and knowledge of World Heritage, as well as Blaenavon’s industrial past and its global importance. As well as trips to visit other World Heritage sites across the UK, they undertake qualifications and training, and gain volunteering hours and certificates that will help with employment. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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