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Can you help put Southwark young people on their own road to success?

Bankside and You Opportunity
This Southwark youth project offers the chance for business sponsorship and individual volunteer support
  • young people at info kiosk
    Southwark Young Pilgrims in action

Southwark Young Pilgrims (SYP) is an award-winning youth project that provides accredited training and work experience for 14 – 16 year olds in tourism, hospitality and customer service skills. The project is particularly directed at those students who are disengaged and underperforming at school and includes practical work experience at ‘meet and greet’ information kiosks at London Bridge and Bankside over the summer period.

You can help in one of two ways. They are looking for business sponsors to help fund the project and also individual volunteers to help supervise the students during the summer at the information kiosks. Other patrons include Sir Michael Caine, who was born and brought up in Bermondsey and says the project “inspires and motivates young people to develop new skills and to have more confidence about going into further education and paid work”.

More about Southwark Young Pilgrims

Young Pilgrims receive a minimum 7 days (35 hours) of induction training, including Health & Safety, First Aid and a Citizenship workshop, plus a written exam, and a minimum of 9 days (45 hours) professionally supervised work experience at the information kiosks.

The term Pilgrim means ‘traveller on a special journey’, and has no religious meaning or significance in this context. The project is about meeting and greeting travellers on their special journey to Southwark and London from all over the world, but also reflects the special journey the students are taking – enhancing their skills and abilities for the world of work and in their quest to be good citizens and ambassadors for the borough of Southwark.

SYP also helps to promote local companies. Each year they provide useful information to thousands of tourists and business visitors, assisting them in having a safe and enjoyable visit to Bankside, London Bridge and Bermondsey.

Success stories so far

Since 1997, over 850 Southwark students have graduated through this programme and been awarded their Pilgrim badges. Each successful student also receives Welcome Host, Youth Achievement, Duke of Edinburgh, and other certificates that count towards various educational qualifications.

Most of the graduates from this course have gone on to improve on their anticipated GCSE grades at school, with many going on to further education and successful careers in tourism and related customer service industries. One of the pilgrims went on to manage a team of 34 wardens at the Buckingham Palace summer openings.

Who runs the project?

The project is run by a dedicated team of trainers, supervisors and other volunteers managed by its founder and coordinator Veronica Alden.

Find out more

For further information about the project and how to get involved, please contact Veronica Alden on 020 8299 0470 or Terry Wilden (Chairman) on 07963 120895, or email admin [at]

Apr 23 2013