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Aspire Graduation 2013

Published: 16 Jul 2013


July the 4th saw the end of the Aspire year. All of the hard work and progress culminated in a celebration ceremony held at Toynbee Hall. The event was standing room only as young people, teachers, volunteers, staff, project partners, family and friends all squeezed in to help celebrate the year in style.

Celebrating the Aspire Year

The graduation ceremony celebrated the entire Aspire year and all of the things that our young people achieved. The event started with Toynbee Hall’s Chief Executive Graham Fisher talking about the Aspire project and how he has seen the project grow since the first graduation ceremony. He also paid tribute to former project coordinator Maria Stephens and current coordinator Amira Mohamed-Raouf for their incredible work building the project and taking it onto new success.

After Graham, Amira introduced some highlights from the year starting with some pictures from the three first-term trips: Broadgate Tower, Osmani Trust and the Tower of London. This was followed by a fantastic video of the circus skills showcase which the young people had trained for with partners Circus Space and performed to an audience at Toynbee Studios.

There was a lot of laughter and excitement from the audience who were wowed all over again, as well as seeing the hard work that went into producing such fantastic results; the young people proving themselves fantastic in front of a camera as well as on the stage.

Trip to Jamie’s Farm

Just two weeks before, Aspire’s mammoth early summer residency at Jamie’s Farm had drawn to a close with the fourth and final trip involving nine boys from Oaklands School. The trip was a great way to round off what was a brilliant four weeks in Wiltshire for the Aspire young people that could make it, as well as for all the volunteers and staff that accompanied them. Huge credit must go to all of those involved from Aspire, especially the young people who got stuck in and worked incredibly hard to make the whole thing such a special experience. The Jamie’s Farm team were also brilliant and provided a really safe and positive environment for the young people to test themselves and discover amazing new things about what they can do.

Loud applause greeted the entrance of the Jamie’s Farm team featuring both Jake and Jamie himself. The farm was fresh in the memory of all those that has been there and there was great excitement at looking back through some photos as well as the individual trip videos

See all the videos and the diary from the trip 

Getting their certificates

Then it was time for the young people to collect their well-earned certificates accompanied by a collection of group photos on cd, a Jamie’s Farm certificate and an individual photo.

collecting their certificates

To wrap up proceedings this year’s Inspire graduates lived up to the name and gave an inspiring account of their two years with the project. The group spoke fantastically about how far they had come, the things that they have achieved and the amazing opportunities that they have made for themselves. The talk was rounded off by a beautiful poem written and performed by Inspire graduate Sharmin. 

This has been an incredible year for Aspire and the future of the project is bright thanks to the dedication of the staff and the strength of the young people that take part. A massive thanks was also given to the volunteers and funders who make a huge commitment to Aspire and without whom the project wouldn’t be possible.