Royal seal of approval for South Yorkshire youth development scheme

Award winners.
Award winners.
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A youth development scheme which has benefited thousands of school kids across South Yorkshire has been recognised with a royal award.

The Inspiring Youth Programme was one of 42 organisations across Yorkshire to receive the Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award.

The scheme is run by retired police officers and volunteers with the aim of encouraging youngsters to take part in after-school activities such as outdoor pursuits and volunteering projects to improve their neighbourhoods.

A South Yorkshire Police team which runs the initiative was invited to a ceremony at the University of Huddersfield in April where they were presented with their certificate by Andrew Coombe, the lord lieutenant of South Yorkshire.

They were then invited to a further ceremony at St James Palace in London yesterday, where a student who has undertaken each level of the award met the Duke of York, patron of the scheme.

Project co-ordinator and founder Bobby Dev said: "This is yet another milestone in the Inspiring Youth Programme that has grown over the years and now operates in schools across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley.

“The programme, which was set up twelve years ago by volunteers from within the force, was developed with the purpose of providing teenagers with the opportunity to become involved in and work on, different projects to improve their personal performance in school, at home and in the community.

“2016 has been the most successful year to date and has seen students visiting the Houses of Parliament in London and those interested in pursuing a career in Law; visit the crown court in Sheffield where senior Judges have volunteered a mentoring programme for them.”