YOUTH AT THE HEART OF ROTARY
Dozens of young people across Darlington are members of Rotary groups which help involve them in cool community projects, and build lasting confidence and leadership skills.
Rotary has three separate age groups for young people:
Rotakids 7-12 yrs
Interact 12-18 yrs
Rotaract 18-30 +
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RotaKids is a fun and exciting way for children aged 7-12 to make friends and get involved with important activities in the community, while having a great time.
RotaKids clubs are based in schools, youth groups or community centres and with the help and support from teachers, youth leaders and the local Rotary club, children can gain a valuable experience in helping others and learning interesting, new things.
It also brings an exciting and practical approach to supporting the citizenship element of the national curriculum.
Darlington has successful Rotakids at Reid Street, Abbey, and Mowden Schools. They have been involved in a number of initiatives, including collecting children’s books for a project to equip a library in Kenya an initiative called Kindness at Christmas, a Christmas CD in aid of Rotary charities, Sponsored walks... to name a few!
Interact covers the next age group. It brings together young people aged 12-18 to develop leadership skills, take action to make a difference in their school and community, discover new cultures and promote international understanding, have fun and make new friends from around the world.
Interact clubs organise at least two projects every year, one that helps their school or community and one that promotes international understanding.
Darlington has an award winning Interact Club at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College which has won national recognition for its projects and initiatives.
These include the development of a small social enterprise aimed at sponsoring girls’ education in Africa and a record reaction to an initiative around creating food boxes for Christmas.
The club has twice won the Rotary National Best Project Award and the Young Citizens of the Year Award.
Rotaract clubs bring together people aged 18-30+ to exchange ideas with leaders in the community, develop leadership and professional skills and have fun through enterprising activities.
Just like Rotary, Rotaract is a great way to expand members’ social circles and meet new people. Rotaract is a diverse, lively and vibrant organisation with people from all backgrounds and walks of life.
By working together, members build new skills, enhance personal development and undertake leadership roles all of which can be great for the CV and employability.
Darlington Rotaract, formed within the past year, is currently engaged in a borough-wide litter picking project and has plans for a community garden in the town.
Darlington Rotary also has a close association with Youthwatch Darlington, a young volunteering group for 14 to 25 year olds in Darlington who have a passion for making a difference to health and care in the local area.
They believe young people have a right to be involved at all levels of health and care. Youthwatch Darlington act as champions for young patients in the town, providing them with a voice, listening to their experiences and raising awareness.
You can find out more here: https://www.healthwatchdarlington.co.uk/youthwatch-darlington