Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form student Kate Whittaker is set to gain experience of communicating internationally, after agreeing to be the British partner to Bond Beyond Borders, a cultural youth twinning group.

In 2013, Pendle residents Kate Whitaker, Connor Smith, Awais Hussain, Zubair Bashir and Rebecca Robertson took part in the International Youth Event in Marl, Germany. As part of the Pendle Twinning Committee, they met people from 13 different countries: England, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Morocco, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Russia, Senegal and Turkey, representing the UK and making friends around the world.

On their return to the UK, Kate and Connor stayed in contact with friends that had made and so when they learned that Marl residents had formed their own youth twinning group, Bonds Beyond Borders (BBB), they were also inspired to set up their own branch of twinning up, joining forces with German residents to establish their own international organisation. They are currently speaking to French twinning leaders and soon, French residents of Criel will join the organisation.

Kate, who is currently studying A Levels in English Language, English Literature, History and French at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form, has ambitions of working in International Relations. Kate is dedicated to achieving this goal and is an active participant in College life, taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, Pre-Professional Journalism, as well as being a member of the Student Hub and editor of the College student magazine Jigsaw. She said, “The first international event is set for June the 19th to the 23rd 2015 which is really exciting! Members will get the opportunity to fly to Paris to take part in Criel’s Jubilee twinning celebrations with members of the organisation from Germany and France. Bonds Beyond Borders has really took off with our friends around the world. I would love to enter a career in international relations so this is an absolutely brilliant opportunity. To have an impact on the world would be a dream come true. We want to promote intercultural sensitivity, international friendships and the first ever world-wide youth twinning group”

Connor Smith is likewise optimistic about the future of the group and said, “The current Twinning Committee has virtually no involvement of youth, which I find a shame, given how amazing the opportunity it for young people! The aim of BBB is to create a strong group who can increase the reputation of town-twinning and also achieve more funding and recognition.”

David Carter, chairman of Pendle twinning association quote: “The setting up of a Youth Twinning Group in Pendle is the best news yet – it is a positive move that will bring immense benefits, not only for the young people themselves but also for the communities of which they are part. Well done to our Pendle Youth for this initiative!”

If you are a young person, living in Pendle and an interest in the international community,