The BAE Systems Youth Leadership Award features youth groups and projects who are helping to inspire the next generation.

The Fusion Awards will take place on Saturday 13 May at King George's Hall, Blackburn.

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Blackburn United Girls Football team

A girl’s football team who have been making huge strides in encouraging more young people to get involved in sport.

The football team was established in the summer of 2014 when a group of girls approached Afira Mulla to enquire about football for Asian girls.

Since then the group has helped to address many stigmas and myths about Asian girls, breakdown cultural barriers and introduce young women to sport and fitness.

It has also provided confidence and leadership skills and helped develop the young women’s social and personal skills.

The group is run by volunteers and among other achievements three girls have qualified as Level 1 referees. The girl’s team made history for the club by becoming the first girls’ team to play a competitive match. They also hosted the clubs Annual Presentation Evening in front of over 300 people.

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Beyond Labels: In Young Men’s Shoes

Beyond Labels: In Young Men’s Shoes is the initiative of The Hollins Technology College, which involves a group of creative courageous young men who have worked voluntarily for over 18 months during out of school hours to create powerful and inspiring content that explores issues of male identity.

The ‘Beyond Labels collective’ comprises 11 brave young boys from five different nationalities between the ages of 11‐16.

Using different creative platforms, ‘the collective’ wanted to identify as well as use personal experiences to talk about the huge amount of pressures that young men face today.

With the support of creative practitioners the ‘Beyond Labels’ collective created a touring exhibition of film, photography and spoken word poetry.

The boys completed a six date tour in Lancashire, performing their poetry and showcasing their film and photography to both schools and community audiences with the aim of inspiring, motivating and changing perceptions.

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MyPlace: ‘Motivated Younger People Looking After Community Environments’

Encouraging young people to participate in environmental and eco-therapy based projects has been the focus of this innovative project.

In partnership with Lancashire Care Foundation Trust, the MyPlace project aims to reach 1000 young people who may be experiencing mental health issues.

MyPlace built on the success of The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s previous ‘Trailblazers’ project and is delivered throughout Preston, Chorley and East Lancashire, with activities aiming to improve  urban community green spaces.

The project is part of a bigger campaign ‘Our Bright Future’ aiming to tackle three big challenges facing society today - a lack of social cohesion, a lack of opportunities for young people and vulnerability to climate change.

The onus is placed on young people themselves who are encouraged to actively involve themselves in decision making and practical action to manage their local spaces.

Up to 120 green spaces located within urban neighbourhoods will be improved.

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99th Oldham Compass Scouts

A newly formed Scouts group which is helping to inspire a community from the most economically deprived areas of Oldham.

The group was only established in July 2015 and have maintained a conscious effort to keep costs to an absolute minimum to ensure all children from their local area have the opportunity to avail of being part of the Scouts movement.

The group are run by young adults rather than parents, in order to teach them invaluable leadership skills.

In the last 12 months the children have taken part  in a series of charitable initiatives including a bake sale, a sponsored silence and a sponsored hike. The children recently completed the Pet Carers Activity Badge which saw them learning how to take care of animals.

The children have also gained the Chef and Cook Badge, the Fitness Badge and the Fire Safety Badge.

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