Jewish Care hands the MIKE to Young Volunteers

03 Jul 2014

Over 300 people attended Redbridge Jewish Community Centre’s (RJCC) Youth Leadership Awards to celebrate the outstanding contribution of its young volunteers.

nullThis was the 9th awards ceremony for the MIKE, (Motivation, Inspiration, Knowledge and Education) Leadership Programme that has become a breeding group for future leaders across the community.

Laura Marks, Vice President of the Board of Deputies presented over 100 young volunteers, between 13 and 17 years old, with awards and certificates celebrating their achievements as bronze, silver or gold graduates of the programme.

The leadership programme is run by professionals at the centre but supported by the vital work of volunteers. While completing their gold award this year, Amy Goldstone, Joe Smith and Harry Goldsmith, who are all 16 years old, also supported the bronze programme.

The most prestigious award of the evening, The Saul Keene Award for Excellence in Leadership went to 17 year old Josh Roukin of Hainault.  The award established in memory of Saul Keene, a dedicated youth leader and supporter of the centre who passed away in 2008 at the age of 41. Saul’s mum Nettie, a volunteer at the centre for over 42 years, his son 13 year old Sam who is now a regular at the centre and his brother Danny presented the award to Josh.

A pupil at King Soloman High School in Barkingside, Josh, who was recognised for his commitment to the centre and his dedication to volunteering, said,

"It's an absolute honour to win such a prestigious award. You don't realise what you've done until someone summarises it within a speech and it makes me realise that the volunteering work I've done in the community is really valued."

I enjoyed participating in MIKE - developing my leadership skills and becoming more confident as a person. Learning to lead at MIKE has opened up a whole new side of me and I'm now running the programme that I've participated in. For the past two years I've been leading the bronze, silver and gold awards for 13 - 16year olds."

 Joel Gleicher, RJCC’s Youth Programmes Coordinator commented:

"Over the last four years Josh has been on a journey of leadership. He is now a key part of the MIKE family. He has not only volunteered with the Redbridge community he has also had a key involvement in Jewish Care’s Princess Alexandra Home Summer Fete raising nearly £500 and was part of the team that won the Jewish Care 'Young Volunteer Group of 2013. His passion and commitment make him a deserved winner of the Saul Keene Award for Excellence in Leadership.”

In his closing remarks Laurie Rosenberg, the new Manager at the RJCC said:

"MIKE creates the leaders of the future. It is a programme that is unique to this centre and the team have done a great job inspiring the next generation.”

 Simon Morris, Jewish Care’s Chief Executive who spoke at the close of the event commented;

"Jewish Care is often associated with social care for older people. The Redbridge Jewish Community Centre is an example of a Jewish Care intergeneration hub of activities and support. The MIKE programme engages hundreds of young people in volunteering and peer leadership from an early age, it’s a shining example of the positive contribution young people can and do make to our community and wider society.”

View the RJCC Youth Leadership 2014 Awards photos on Facebook

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