Published on 11th August 2023

Group chat with gold medal winner, Andy Lewis MBE

The day formed part of twin town youth exchange ‘peace camp’ for students from Cheltenham, Gottingen, Witttenberg and Torun.

Paralympic triathlete and gold medallist, Andy Lewis MBE, led a fun, energetic sports afternoon with young people from Cheltenham, Germany and Poland today at Brizen young people’s centre in Up Hatherley.

The event – part of Brizen youth club’s weekly summer holiday programme – partnered with this year’s International Youth Exchange ‘peace camp’ and provided young people, aged 10-17, with the chance to try different sports and make friends from across Europe.

As well as trying their hand at new sports and having a tasty fish and chip lunch, the young people also took part in an inspirational discussion with Paralympian triathlete and gold medal winner, Andy Lewis MBE, centred around determination, positive mental health and wellbeing. 

Lyam Galpin, director at Springbank Community Group CiC, organised the event as part of a week long programme focussed on sustainability, he said:  ‘’We were so pleased to welcome young people from Cheltenham, Göttingen, Wittenberg and Torun to meet with Andy Lewis MBE and other local young people. It was great to see so many young people inspired by his words and taking part in the activities on the day. We always aim to provide those who come to the centre with positive experiences, particularly during the holidays. Offering these activities to young people from across Europe has been an invaluable opportunity.”

Max, one of the young people that attended the day, really enjoyed Andy’s inspirational talk. He said:  ‘’That was unreal, crazy. It really changed my mindset.’’

Councillor Max Wilkinson, cabinet member for climate and communities added: ‘’The event was a huge success and my thanks goes to Andy Lewis MBE who took the time to chat to our young people and share his incredible experiences. It was exciting that we could also invite young people from across the continent as part of our twin town youth exchange programme.  The event is one of many that our twin town friends have experienced during their stay, here in Cheltenham.’’

Thanks goes to the organisations involved in the event:

Springbank Community Group CiC

Cheltenham Borough Council

Gloucestershire County Council (Build Back Better fund)

Cheltenham Twinning Association

Leckhampton with Warden Hill Parish Council

Up Hatherley Parish Council

Atkins Group

Brizen Young Peoples Centre

Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Gloucestershire

Bespoke Mentoring              

Göttingen Twinning Association

Göttingen Sport Association

III Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace


With special acknowledgement to UK-German Connection for their funding support.

Peace Camp - The young people on the Peace camp are from Cheltenham’s twin town of Göttingen, and its twin cities of Torun in Poland and Wittenberg in former East Germany.  From 6-13 August, the young people stayed at Cranham Scout Centre, together with Cheltenham youngsters from Brizen and Springbank youth centres.  They took part in workshops with members of the Planet Cheltenham Youth Group around making sustainable changes in their local community; had talks from local councillors on Cheltenham’s plans for net zero; a talk by Paralympian Andy Lewis MBE on achieving goals; as well as a day trip to London and an afternoon of Twin Town Olympics at Brizen Young People’s Centre.

To find out more about programme of learning and activities at the Peace camp and about twinning more generally, visit the Cheltenham Twinning website.