As you’ve probably noticed, there hasn’t been any information about a forum this month, but it’s only because we’re on a break until October 18th comes around. However, this doesn’t mean that the work has stopped, as this month has given me plenty of time for reflection and allowed me to start putting some ideas in place to take Young People Insight to the next level.
Since holding the first forum in January, each month has continued to generate interesting discussions on a variety of topics, which have grown more dynamic and are always overrun with differing viewpoints.
I’ve seen different sides to young people and learnt more about their individual thought processes as we’ve spoken on topics including employment, violent crime and relationships. They have also provided some useful, tangible solutions that I want us to start to putting into action over the course of the year, as one of the core elements of YP Insight is being the change we want to see.
One of the most effective and exciting forums was when five young people – Stephanie Kane, Matthew Don, Frances Acquaah, Kyle Hylton and Jason Simms-Davis – shared their stories so far and how they were pursuing their dreams at the forum in May. Everyone who attended was inspired and engaged in what their fellow young people had to say – I am definitely planning to put on more forums with this format in the future.
Although the group of young people who attend the forums has been growing slightly and steadily, there are still a whole lot of young people that I would like to reach and involve in YP Insight, as I believe that it is essential for young people to use their voices and feel that they matter.
I’ve finally got some leaflets made, so look out for those, and I’m going to be setting up a YP Insight Instagram account to accompany the Facebook page and Twitter account. The YouTube channel is also set to go live soon with our first video, created by one of our forum participants, Chinelo. I’m hoping that future forums will be filmed and for highlight videos to be posted on the channel, giving others an insight into our discussions and what they’re missing.
YP Insight was always supposed to be more than just forums, so there will be additional events coming up that will empower the voices of young people in other ways, as well as social events that will encourage young people to grow their network and develop their communication skills. Next year, I’m also hoping to hold workshops that will be hosted by other organisations and put on collaborative events, which will create a greater sense of community.
Coming up on November 1st is our first spoken word/poetry event at Project B from 7-9pm, which will allow young people from Croydon to make their voice heard through the art of poetry and showcase their talent. I want this to become a regular monthly event, sometimes with different themes for the poets and spoken word artists to focus on.
However, in order for YP Insight develop and for all these ideas to come to fruition, I need a team around me. I particularly need individuals with skills and experience in media, marketing, finance and event planning/management, as well as someone to lead out on everything with me. This is a great opportunity to be part of a youth community/organisation in Croydon and it is something that you can put on your CV.
Together, we can make a real difference in our community and be the change we want to see, because if we truly want things to be different, it has to start with us.
For more information on any of the upcoming events or if you would like to join the Young People Insight team, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow @YPInsight on Twitter and like Young People Insight on Facebook.