A GROUP of dedicated children have been given awards for completing a seven-month leadership programme.

The Swindon Academy youngsters, in school Years 4 and 5, have been on SkillForce’s Little Leaders course working with instructors from the charity which supports vulnerable and disengaged children through a range of group activities.

The charity, predominantly made up of ex-military personnel, work with schools across the country to improve young people’s skills. Resilience, courage, teamwork and respect were four of the key areas the 13 Swindon Academy children looked to develop.

During Wednesday’s awards ceremony, participants were given certificates, to mark their completion of the course, while four members of the groups received medals for being top performers.

“This has been a very useful course for the children as the group activities we’ve done have improved their self-esteem and teamwork skills,” said Will Mortimer, SkillForce instructor.

“We now hope they’ll be able to transfer their skills outside the classroom.”

Will’s fellow instructor Kate Stradling said both she and Will had enjoyed helping the children.

She said: “Swindon Academy is my favourite school to work with as there is great engagement from the pupils, their parents and staff. I’m really pleased that the children on the Little Leaders course have stepped up to the challenge.”

Year 5 pupil Megan Prosser, 10, received a loyalty medal to honour her hard work and dedication to fellow pupils.

Mum Sabrina said: “She’s always coming home saying how much she loves working with SkillForce.

“The programme has really helped her as Megan’s communication and confidence has improved greatly.”

Sarah Cobb, Swindon Academy’s primary phase principal, said she is delighted with the pupils’ progress and hopes the school can continue working with SkillForce.

“We have watched these children grow and the impact SkillForce has had on them is amazing,” she said.

“I’m proud of every single child and I’m grateful for the resources SkillForce has put into supporting them.”

For more information about the charity visit www.skillforce.org.