Ellie Toth has been recognised for her contribution to Friend for Life, an innovative scheme first developed by the university’s Professor Angie Hart in the Centre of Resilience for Social Justice.
Ellie, a school student, is also co-researcher on a study led by the centre’s PhD candidate Mirika Flegg who credits Ellie with developing visual methods for the Friend for Life study. Mirika said: “Ellie makes an enormous difference to the understanding and application of resilient health practices through her volunteer work for the community”.
The British Citizen Youth Award recognises “exceptional endeavour” and Ellie was invited to receive her award at the Palace of Westminster (on Wednesday this week, 16 October?) by Lord Blunkett.
The Friend for Life scheme attempts to give life-long resilience to vulnerable young people aged 10 to 12. They are matched to a supportive, volunteer adult who makes an ongoing commitment to be there for them for life.
It is one of a number of initiatives developed in the Centre through Professor Hart and her colleagues’ pioneering work on resilience. The work is now being used in a major whole-community initiative across the schools and council projects in Blackpool, with a view to developing a ‘Resilience Revolution’ that will help towns and cities across the UK.
Mirika said: “Ellie has been fundamental in supporting the Resilience Revolution and volunteers her time across many initiatives. She sits on the Youth People’s Executive Group, helping to make executive decisions about the HeadStart Programme, a National Lottery funded programme aimed at helping young people in difficult circumstances and preventing common mental health problems. She is also part of a number of groups including the Digital Team and project committees.