Inspiring Young People
One of the major highlights for everyone involved in the JHMT over the past 12 months has been the very moving way in which so many inspirational 'young people' have thrown themselves into the work of the Trust. Despite the sudden loss of one of their best friends – Joe, their response to do something so positive under such challenging circumstances is quite extraordinary.
From the outset, the Trust has outlined its commitment to make a positive difference, through Joe's legacy, to the lives of many other young people, who like the Joes' of this world, have so much to offer society.
Subtle heart diseases like SADS are responsible for the loss of in excess of 12 young people a week, that is well over 600 a year, across the UK. Every one of these gut wrenching losses, denies these young people, just like Joe, the opportunity to blossom and fulfil their dreams, ambitions and potential. Joe was, with the support of a dear family friend (Gurdeep Sian) looking into establishing an after-school photography club at De Lisle College such was his interest in taking pictures of the world around him. He was cruelly denied this opportunity but thanks to the commitment of so many people at the College, including both the staff and young people, and a contribution from the Trust's funds for equipment, Joes vision has been realised within 12 months.
In November 2013, the college launched the first 'Joe's school photography competition – titled 'My World' and the response was quite amazing with well over 100 entries resulting in many outstanding examples of young people demonstrating their passion for photography. Plans to set up a weekly photography club are now on track for 2014.
The fact that young people are sometimes thwarted in their attempts to realise their ambitions by a lack of either financial support, advice or counselling is recognised by members of the Trust. The JHMT recently launched in June the 'Inspire Awards' small grants scheme as part of its ongoing commitment to help even more young people from across Leicester and Leicestershire to fulfil their potential and develop their talents. Joe would approve of that!