Hi, my name is Ben Pennycook and I started the BYC collection of initiatives.
My story starts in February 2022 after I received anti-bullying ambassador training at my school by The Diana Award©. Following this training I realised that there was a fair amount of spotlight on trying to stop bullying, which is very important, but I felt that there was not as much on the side of supporting those who have already been bullied. I believe that one of the effects of bullying is that it can knock your self-esteem and confidence.
From this I started to make a presentation that focused on the creation of the BYC (Build Your Confidence) club. I then gave it to Mr Brooker, Assistant Head (Pastoral), at Bourne Grammar School and crossed my fingers that the school would give me the chance to see whether it would work or not.
They said yes! So, then I started preparing, planning and organising, which took quite a few weeks. Before the launch of the club, I ran assemblies for years 7 and 8, sharing the message of spreading positivity, and also advertising the club.
Then I had the idea for the art wall and buddies system and they're progressing well.
To help pay for my club and the posters, etc, I started making paracord bands and selling them at local fairs. I was told months later that the organiser of the Elsea Park Jubilee Festival, Jono Brough, had nominated me for the South Kesteven District Council Community Awards Inspirational Young Person Award 2022. Finding out that I won was just amazing and I'm really grateful to Jono for nominating me.
Since then, I have trademarked the BYC - Build Your Confidence logo, and built this website in the hope that other communities will benefit from initiatives similar to those mentioned on this site.
I'm now hoping to expand these ideas for more students by offering training and support to teachers and other professionals that work with children.
This website is self-funded, and luckily for you I'm too young for a business account, so you can use all of these ideas for free (and my logo, the BYC name after gaining written permission via email). Just let me know your name and organisation or group, and I'll send you the details.
Running the website and providing training and hiring venues costs money, and so I'm hoping that, if you could make use of these schemes, you could help me to keep it going by donating at my JustGiving page.
In my spare time I've been volunteering at an amazing local charity, Don't Lose Hope. They offer a community garden and shed where you can relax and enjoy nature and maybe have a go at making things in the shed. They also offer counselling sessions for children and adults, and have a café and shop in the town. We're really lucky to have all those facilities here in Bourne.
Releasing frogspawn at the Don't Lose Hope Community Garden & Shed
SK Community Awards, Inspirational Young Person Award 2022
Receiving the SK Community Awards, Inspirational Young Person Award 2022
Coronation Champion Award
In May of 2023 I was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the 500 Coronation Champions across the UK, and was given the opportunity to be part of King Charles III's Coronation. I am really thankful to have been nominated, and grateful that the judges of the award selected me
The Bourne Grammar Foundation Cup for Services to the School
In December of 2023 I was awarded the Foundation Cup for Services to the School, by Bourne Grammar School
Good Morning Britain's 1 Million Minutes Young Loneliness Champion
In December of 2023 I was awarded the 1 Million Minutes Young Loneliness Champion Award by ITV's Good Morning Britain