17th February 2017
“A world built on kindness” is the motto of Yavneh College in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire and that’s exactly what the students and guests tried to show HRH The Prince of Wales during his visit on 1st February, in partnership with Youth United and our member organisation, Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade.
His Royal Highness, accompanied by Head teacher Spencer Lewis, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire and JLGB President Lord Levy, met with students, who are active champions of social action, inside and outside of school. In preparation for HRH’s arrival, Yavneh College displayed a selection of activities, such as toy and food making, which would then be distributed to the children’s ward at Watford General Hospital and the Borehamwood Foodbank.
A particular highlight of the royal visit was The Prince meeting representatives of the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade, who work in partnership with the school, to offer Jewish young people the opportunity to be part of a fantastic uniformed youth organisation and be involved in a social action journey through JLGB’s eVOLVe young volunteering initiative , which provides faith sensitive provisions of the Duke of Edinburgh Award and National Citizen Service.
His Royal Highness’ host for the meet and greet was JLGB National Youth Representative and #iwill ambassador Shera Conway, who introduced The Prince to a group of senior JLGB adult volunteers. Ricky Kaplan, JLGB’s professional Core Activities Manager, explained to the Prince that one of the main barriers to achieving the goal of having more young people involved in uniformed youth organisations, such as JLGB, was the lack of adult volunteers, who could commit a few hours a week to local groups across the country. In order to solve this issue, one that Prince Charles himself had highlighted before, JLGB launched the “Do Your Bit” campaign to address the national shortage of adult volunteers. The campaign, funded by Youth United, has already resulted in over 50 more regular weekly volunteers and countless more adhoc supporters for activities, expeditions and events.
JLGB President, The Lord Levy said:
"We were honoured that HRH The Prince of Wales visited Yavneh College to see how through JLGB, young people are giving back to society, both inside and outside of the classroom. As President of the JLGB, I am extremely proud of everything the organisation does across the country and I am particularly delighted that JLGB, as a member of the Youth United Network, has not only increased the provision of local activities, but has expanded their campaign to engage more adult volunteers.
The Network enabled us to give even more young people the tools and skills they need to become the innovative leaders of tomorrow, who in turn then give back to society with abundance."
Even more nervous to meet the Prince were the members of the newly-formed JLGB Herts Band, in collaboration with the Yavneh College music department. One of the last groups created as part of the Youth United UYSAF project, the band will open its practice evenings to other Jewish primary schools in the Hertfordshire area so that all those interested in learning a musical instrument can take part.
Following in the footsteps of JLGB’s Redbridge Band, who had the honour of playing for HRH at the Youth United Social Action Awards at Buckingham Palace on 31st January, the band members have recently started learning how to play woodwind, brass and percussion instruments. For many of them, it was the very first time playing in front of an audience. And when the audience includes The Prince of Wales, the opportunity to play was indeed extra special.
Yavneh College and JLGB were also joined on the day by Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, who previously helped launch JLGB’s ‘eVOLve’ programme in 2014. Accompanied by our CEO, Lindsay Levkoff Lynn, the Chief Rabbi was delighted to learn more about Youth United.
All in all, since 2012, Youth United has created nearly 42,000 places in new uniformed youth groups. 85% of these units are located in the most deprived half of the UK (as defined by the ONS Indices of Multiple Deprivation) and the remaining work we have done is to support uniformed youth organisations, such as JLGB, to open new groups around the country in all communities and to make social action accessible to young people of all faiths.
Read more about JLGB’s week with HRH The Prince of Wales at www.jlgb.org/royalweek