POLICE and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire, Mark Burns-Williamson, has joined the Bradford Community Champions initiative to help inspire young people across the Bradford District.

Mr Burns-Williamson will be talking to students at Carlton Bolling College about his own experiences and the challenges that he has personally faced and overcome. The talk aims to broaden students’ aspirations and provide them with inspiration in terms of their career pathways.

He was elected as West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in 2012. Prior to his election as PCC, Mr Burns-Williamson was a district councillor representing the Castleford Central & Glasshoughton Ward for 15 years as part of Wakefield Council and received an OBE from the Queen in 2011 for services to the community.

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The Community Champions work with schools to inspire, encourage and motivate students. They highlight the importance of school life and hard work and emphasise that every lesson is paramount in shaping their future.

The Community Champions initiative is led by Gill Arnold JP, Deputy of the West Yorkshire Bench, and Bradford Council as part of the Education Covenant initiative.

The Education Covenant looks to bring the whole community together to support young people so they can succeed in school, life and work.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “I am delighted to have been asked to be part of Community Champions to inspire and encourage young people.

“It is crucial we take the responsibility collectively to invest in our young people and harness their ability and show them the importance of discipline and hard work for future success.

“As PCC I want to show young people that anything is possible with hard work, discipline and motivation and look forward to being a Community Champion.”

Adrian Kneewhsaw, Headteacher at Carlton Bolling College, said: “We’re really pleased that Mark is able to meet our students. They are at a pivotal time in their lives in terms of choosing pathways they want to take. It’s inspirational for our students to hear how people in their community have succeeded and that whatever they go on to choose, that they need hard work and commitment to be successful.”

Gill Arnold JP, Deputy Chairman of the Magistrates West Yorkshire Bench and leader of Bradford Community Champions, said: “It’s fantastic that Mark has joined Bradford’s Community Champions. All our Community Champions have their own story to share and some have experienced similar difficult situations to some of our young people today. Mark’s journey to where he is now in his career will be an inspirational story for students at Carlton Bolling College to hear.”

Councillor Imran Khan, portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said: “We have some amazing individuals in our district with inspirational stories to tell. We want to find ways in which we can inspire our young people and meeting different role models who have succeeded can help us do that. It’s great news that Mark is able to join the Community Champions to help inspire the young people of Bradford.”