The ART Award for Inspiring Leadership in Ringing

Highly Commended: Hayley Young

Hayley is based in the Truro area, however her skills can be seen throughout ringing in Cornwall. Her exceptional leadership skills can be seen in a variety of activities and post COVID projects. Her extrovert and welcoming personality, ‘can do’ attitude and not taking no for an answer has produced tangible advances and increase in bellringing activity from the Covid low point, in a rural county already deeply affected by declining numbers and an adverse age profile of ringers.

  • As the Master (since early 2022) of the Truro Cathedral band, reinvigorating the band and the ringing.
  • As Secretary (since 2021) of the Truro DG, cajoling and encouraging increased activity within the Guild.
  • As a key leader in small project teams to a number of post COVID recruitment projects.
  • As a key organiser to the first Cornwall youth entry to the national Ringing World competition.
  • She has attended ART courses and learnt from others to enable her to teach others to ring.
  • She is a member of the CCCBR V&L workgroup.
  • She also rings regularly at Ladock and Kenwyn.

This link (from 10m 50secs) has Hayley describing to an online “Recovery Champions” meeting what she was doing and hoping to do mid way through Covid lockdowns.

Key activities

  • Became Ringing Master of Truro Cathedral and has encourage increased activity and attendance, liaising with the Cathedral to increase the amount of ringing.
  • Became Guild secretary reinvigorating activity during Covid with the organisation of regular Zoom sessions, which became well known nationally. When ringing recommenced encouraging others to ‘get ringing going again’.
  • She was, and continues to be a key leader and organiser of post COVID recruitment and training sessions. E.g. The Lizard project, which now has a new band at Wendron and a phase 2 intake of new learners. The Truro ringing school which is currently training about 8 new learners and returning ringers.
  • She has been a co leader at a number of Train the Trainer sessions, due to shortfall of trainers being identified.
  • She was also a key leader and organiser for the first ever Cornwall youth team to enter the national competition. She was also able to involve younger adult ringers to help lead the youth team.

Leadership skills

Hayley has concentrated on increasing bellringing activity and increasing the number of ringers in the Truro area and the rest Cornwall. Four Teaching Hubs across Cornwall have now been established post COVID.

A key challenge has been the increasingly elderly ringing cohort, with a drop of in numbers due to Covid, old age and infirmity. Getting around negative attitudes from some with a positive ‘can do’ attitude and identifying others who could help and encouraging them into action. Learning from others who had previous experience and previous ideas that could now be used in a Cornwall setting.

Hayley shows and demonstrates a positive attitude in all aspects of her actions. Showing appropriate empathy and encouragement to others, her energy inspires others to enjoy organising and actually do ringing. She runs ‘fun’ practices!

She recognises that she can’t do it all herself and encourages others to lead and organise. E.g. Train the Trainers is all about getting others to teach, who might not have done previously. She has encouraged young adults to lead and connect with the Cornish Youth team. She delegates successfully, when she is away on business, so that there is continuity in the running of the Cathedral practice. She encourages all in the Cathedral band to conduct or call call changes, some having rung for years and never called before.

Links with other groups:

  • Increased and more proactive links with the Cathedral clergy and office has proved beneficial.
  • She is trying to encourage links with local schools and other voluntary groups in an effort to recruit more new ringers.


  • New band at Wendron now firmly established with enthusiastic local leadership.
  • Truro Ringing school established and meeting weekly.
  • Reinvigorated Truro Cathedral band.
  • Four new teaching hubs established with her help across Cornwall.
  • Guild activities reinvigorated post COVID. E.g. 125th anniversary celebrations and new members being elected to Guild in significant numbers to help replace those that have not returned after Covid.
  • ..and pre Covid, organising the first Truro Cathedral entry to the South West 12 bell contest.

Hayley demonstrates one of the most positive attitudes I have ever seen in ringing circles. Her approach to all aspects of ringing cannot fail to encourage to others to ‘go ringing’! She encourages all and smiles even when the ringing goes wrong, always trying to take the positives out of a given situation.

She was one of the early pioneers on the use of Zoom to keep ringers together during Covid with Truro DG Sunday night zoom seminars becoming well known nationally. She, along with others recognised, the urgent need to train new ringers and, in particular, train new trainers, where a shortfall had been identified.

Her enthusiasm and dedication has made the real difference. She makes ringing fun, which encourage others to do more.

She has helped keep a log of individual new learners and their progress, vital when there are lots of learners. Progress generally has been assessed by results…see evidence above!

She is aware of ‘burn out’ both for herself and for others. To mitigate this, appropriate breaks from training courses have occurred (a bit like school holidays) and decisions on a realistic number of courses that can be run have been made.

Hayley’s enthusiasm and “can do” attitude and her ability to instil action by other ringers has made a significant difference to ringing in Cornwall, in what may have been a bleak post COVID ringing landscape.

Sponsored by Talent Innovations


Winner: Debbie Phipps

Highly Commended: Sonia Field,

Nikki Thomas and Hayley Young

Nominated by: Andy Smith