Contact innovator

Empowering a generation of young people to transform society

Young Leaders Award (YLA)

location_on United Kingdom
The YLA is a fully resourced leadership and character education programme, designed by the Archbishop of York Youth Trust, to be delivered by teaching staff within the classroom. The Award has empowered over 100,000 pupils from 900+ schools to learn and practise key leadership skills and character virtues and to transform their communities through social action. Available at KS1 to KS4/Post-16.
Archbishop of York
Never before has it been so important for our young people, regardless of their background or faith, to discover the life skills of compassion, patience, self-control, gentleness and leadership.

Archbishop of York


HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

Target Group
100 000
Updated on November 10th, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

In 2009, Archbishop Sentamu announced his vision to set up a charity and empower young people to be the change they want to see. To often, young people are seen as a problem to address in society, rather than being part of the solution. We believe young people are not only the potential leaders of the future, but that they can be leaders right now, transforming our communities for the better.

How does your innovation work in practice?

The Young Leaders Award (YLA) is a fully resourced leadership and character education programme designed to be delivered by teaching staff within the classroom. Through our innovative online learning platform, young people explore the concept of leadership, investigate the stories and impact of great leaders in society, consider the importance of serving others and discover how they could bring transformation to their own communities. Following this, they go on a social action journey to take action and ‘be the change they want to see’. Available at KS1 through to Post 16, the YLA has strong links to SMSC, British Values, PSHE, Character Education, Citizenship, RE and SIAMS.

The YLA is backed by University Research and is proven to help young people grow in confidence, commitment and become more community minded
We also hold the Charity of Character Kitemark from the Association of Character Education, recognising our work as a leader in character education.

How has it been spreading?

The YLA has grown rapidly since its launch in 2011, working with 900+ schools and over 100,000 children and young people! In 2018/19 nearly 10,000 young people completed one of our Awards and we estimate that these young leaders completed an incredible 57,000 hours of volunteering or 6.5 years! Having pioneered the work across the north, in 2017 the University of Gloucester led a research project into the impact of the programme and concluded that the YLA should be made available to schools across all England. Following an exciting partnership with Allchurches Trust in 2018, we began our transition to a national charity, scaling our operations so that the YLA, training and support could be offered to schools across the country. In 2021/22, we will roll out the YLA in London and the South.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

If you are interested in trying the Young Leaders Award in your school then check out our website ( and download information packs on each key stage.
Sign up using the link:

If you want to discuss the YLA with a team member contact the office on +44 1904 231010 or email

Free YLA resources are also available


Achievements & Awards

May 2021
Innovation page created on

Spread of the innovation

loading map...