Background from 1970
Following activities initiated by a Leeds Lion, who had lost all his family in the Holocaust, with our twin Club Bad Sooden – Allendorf Lions Club, Germany, we established annual exchange programme for disadvantaged young persons in 1970. Earlier a number of related activities, including arranging for a young person afflicted with polio to be treated at a German clinic were delivered.
What does the Disadvantaged Young Persons Programme provide
Each alternate year a party of up to 15 individuals mainly under 30, with carers if required, from Leeds, and Yorkshire are hosted in Germany for one week. The young persons selected to attend may have physical, special needs or other learning disabilities and in most cases it is the first time that they have had the opportunity to experience extended group based activities and to visit their peers in another country. L&SLC funds air fares and related transport but all other costs are covered by the Lions Clubs in Germany including accommodation in specially adapted facilities, meals and a diverse programme of activities including thermal baths, tree top trails, barbeques and meeting the town Mayor. Disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals attending are only required to provide their own pocket money as Lions cover all other costs of this voluntary overseas programme.
For each alternate year a party of young disadvantaged German citizens are hosted by L&SLC at Hinsley Hall in Headingley and in association with many other Lions Clubs across Yorkshire, including Leeds, Harrogate, Holderness, Keighley, Otley, Warmsworth and Edlington and York we provide a varied tailored programme of visits, and fund all related accommodation, food, local transport and associated costs. All activities are voluntary and are carefully risk-assessed to ensure the safety of all participants.
Disadvantaged Young Persons Programme Benefits
This programme aims to help empower the next generation by enabling individuals with physical, special needs or other learning disabilities to have the opportunity to interact with peers in another country while also developing vital life skills and confidence to overcome barriers and to better understand each other’s cultures.
Most participants have not previously travelled “independently” in such a group and many have never travelled outside their own country.
The programme also provides a short period of valued respite for parents, other siblings, guardians and carers while the young person attends.
“Mixing with such a group for my daughter was a new and challenging experience but she did develop additional confidence and she has now decided herself to maintain ongoing contact with some of the other participants”
“My son is now an enthusiastic ambassador for the programme and now gives short briefing talks explaining the programme to potential young attendees and Lions supporter
“It was the first time I had been away from home without my Mum and Dad and although I was unsure at first it turned out to be great fun and everyone made sure I tried out many activities that were very new to me”
How to nominate a young person with physical, special needs or other learning disabilities to attend ?
Contact the Leeds & Skyrack Lions Club and explain how the young person you wish to nominate would benefit.