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Inspiring Young Black Boys to be Future Leaders!


Building our Future Together


Our Young Leaders are boys aged eight and over living in Southwark and Lambeth. On Saturdays and during school holidays we provide an exciting and engaging programme of activities designed to unlock leadership potential.

Through personal development, teamwork and skills training we inspire boys to be agents of change in their own lives and become the next generation of young black leaders.

In partnership with the boys, their parents and schools, the Academy provides a disciplined framework to enhance self esteem and encourage boys to stay focused and pursue their ambitions.




Our Aims


  • To motivate each boy to achieve his own leadership potential


  • To broaden the vision and let in the opportunities of the wider world


  • To support each boy in achieving the highest standards in school


  • To build each boy's life and social skills


  • To help each boy appreciate the importance of learning



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  • "Southside Academy offers a unique and invaluable service to the boys and an equally valuable service to the school as we try to help every child become an independent, responsible and productive member of the community."
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Latest News and Events

News, programmes, projects and networks of Southside Young Leaders' Academy.

Read More News

  • Young Leaders' Shine at Sport Education Event

    Last half term, our Young Leaders attended a fun day held by our supporter SportEd, and they surely took their leadership and skills with them! Our thanks to SportEd.



  • Easter camp

    10 Secondary boys spent a weekend at Hindleap Warren Outdoor Centre, growing massively in confidence, team-work skills and communication by doing team adventure activities.


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  • Parent Appreciation Awards 2016

    One of the strenghts of Southside Young Leaders' Academy is to work with our boys' parents to offer a "wrap-around" network and support the Young Leaders effectively. On the 16th of April 2016, our School & Family Liaison Officer organised a Family Event during which several parents received an award for their commitment to the charity. Some of them volunteer to cook lunch on Saturday, others are included in recruitment processes; they help SYLA in many ways. They have now create a Southside Parent Group to organise regular events around issues that are important to them, such as Emotional Health, Nutrition and Mediation. IMG 6502

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  • Leadership challenge

    This term has seen Westside Young Leaders’ Academy deliver our annual Leadership Challenge, where the Young Leaders investigate a famous leader of a particular industry group to reflect on how they can embed some of their traits in their own lives. This year we focused on Sporting Leaders, looking at the life of Sir Mo Farah and Mohammed Ali.

  • Christmas Celebration

    On Saturday 12th December 2015, SYLA celebrated the end of the year with fun games and awards. Here is a summary of this beautiful day by the founder of the charity, Andrew Walker:

    I attended the SYLA Christmas Party on Saturday, which brought to light the tremendous growth that has taken place over the last year. The place was absolutely packed with boys and parents (many fathers in evidence!) and buzzed with activity and excitement. There could be no better illustration of the progress of the past year and palpable evidence of support for the leadership programme and its popularity.

    Everyone had worked to get tables and chairs laid out; parents had prepared food, Joni [Education Coordinator] had hung up the letters boys had written as part of a programme of Write for Rights and Bev [School & Family Liaison Officer] had been running a workshop that morning for parents in the About Boys Course. Several boys were up for Awards in attendance, coding club, gold leadership and other merit awards. Armanda, who has worked as volunteer admin officer for the last 18 months, was leaving and received a vote of thanks and a bouquet of flowers as did Joni and Bev (who are NOT leaving!). I noticed a large contingent of older boys there and I saw how they all got together to clear up afterwards. There were several new volunteers there, one a teacher who is helping with the Coding Club.

    There were also lots of brothers and sisters and relatives and I spoke to one grandmother who’d come to see what it was her 10 year old grandson was getting involved in. He started only 3 weeks ago. All the parents I spoke to expressed a similar opinion: “This is a great organisation. Thank you - we want you to continue doing what you’re doing”. 


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    SYLA Awards 12.12.15  SYLA Awards 12.12.15

  • Debating Skills

    We have had an exciting spring term learning how to debate on Saturdays! Clerks Associate’s UK funded a collaboration between DebateMate and SYLA over a series of workshops teaching our leaders how to structure an argument, how to present and the rules of a formal debate. The Young Leaders loved the sessions and really improved in their presentations and arguments over the programme.

Giving and Sharing

There are a number of ways you can help us support our young leaders

find out

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Southside Young Leaders' Academy


54 Camberwell Road
London, SE5 0EW
020 7701 9055

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