In today's York Press, read the feature 'Dr John puts focus on North':
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu has spoken about the inequalities pupils face in the North, as he launches a fundraising appeal today for his Youth Trust.
The trust has so far supported over 50,000 pupils in 450 schools since 2008 with its Young Leaders Awards.
Now the Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust is hoping to raise £375,000 to reach an extra 15,000 young people in 300 primary and secondary schools living in disadvantaged communities across the region.
Dr Sentamu said: “I strongly believe that young people are not the leaders of tomorrow, they are the leaders of today, and that young people should be taking an active role in society.”
To do that, he says they need to be given the confidence and opportunity, as well as inspiration.
Dr Sentamu added: “We provide resources for primary and secondary schools to take their pupils through a structured programme of volunteering, leadership and social action.
“By creating a kinder and more resilient generation, young leaders can not only shape their own futures, but they can help provide solutions to societies problems and challenges.
“Our awards are for all children, regardless of what their faith is or if they are atheists or agnostic.”
“We all share those fundamental human values of kindness, empathy and a driving force to do good.
“It deeply troubles me that although at 11 years old children in the North are roughly on track with their southern counterparts in terms of educational attainment, that by the age of 16 the gap has widened markedly.”Across Yorkshire 300,000 children grow up in poverty; the equivalent of nine children in every classroom of 30. The Institute for Fiscal Studies project that levels of relative child poverty will increase by 50 per cent by 2020.