Wishing You a Happy New Year

We’re in the final days of 2016 and I’m sitting here writing the final Young People Insight post of the year.  I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by and how much has been achieved since the first forum in January.

More young people have got involved, inspiring young individuals have shared their stories so far, we put on our first poetry night and last week we held our first ever social event.

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It’s been a lot of work, but a whole lot fun, so I wanted to take this time to say thank you to all of you.  Thank you for your involvement, support and ideas throughout the year – Young People Insight wouldn’t work or exist without you.

I hope that you all have a very happy new year and that your 2017 is full of greatness.  I look forward to interacting with you more, learning more from you and developing Young People Insight so that it will make bigger changes in the community.

Here’s to a special and successful 2017.

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Moving Forward into 2017

On December 20th, we had our last Young People Insight forum of the year, and it was all about moving forward.  We discussed how YP Insight would develop and move forward in 2017, as we took a look back on YP Insight in 2016.

It was important for me to hear from the young people involved in the platform and understand what they want, because they are at the center of it and it is their voices that are being heard.  I’m simply the instigator, who ensures that they feel valued and listened to.

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I started by asking what their favourite things about the forums this year were and what they think worked best.  The responses I got were:

  • Good topics
  • Stuff people can relate to and get off their chest
  • Acceptance – “I feel comfortable here,” said Alana
  • Laughter
  • Making connections with new and like-minded people
  • Openness of discussions
  • Intimacy
  • Good environment
  • Snacks.

I also wanted to know which forum was the favourite of each individual or had the greatest effect on them.  Personally, mine was the forum on dreams in May, when I had some great young guest speakers.  Other favourites included:

On the flip side, I then asked what they thought could be improved upon.  Suggestions included:

  • Perhaps having games or doing different things along with the forums
  • More socialising and bonding as a group
  • Varying the crisp selection
  • Having debate nights on really serious topics
  • Asking people what they want to talk about and what they want to become more confident talking about
  • More professionals coming and talking, giving a different perspective.

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In preparation for 2017, I asked the question, what you would like to see discussed next year?  What was brilliant about this question, was that it generated interesting, dynamic discussions, simply from us bringing up the topics that we wanted to see talked about next year.  Topics we wanted to see discussed included:

  • Online dating
  • The rise of virtual reality
  • Are women in control
  • Space in relationships
  • The black community
  • Music
  • Cultural appropriation
  • Mental disorders
  • Romance.

With the forums already a regular occurrence and monthly poetry nights starting in January, I wanted to know what other events the young people wanted to see take place.  Responses included fun days out, open mic nights and an art exhibition.

I also wanted to know how everyone wanted to get more involved with YP Insight, as I really want all of the young people around me to take greater ownership of the platform and genuinely feel that it is theirs as much as mine.

We ended off a year of YP Insight with our games night, which was a lot of fun – I’m looking forward to more social events like it in the future.

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I’m excited to see everyone again in 2017, when we’ll be celebrating the 1st birthday of Young People Insight on January 17th.  We’ll be holding our first poetry night of the year in the new location of Hoodoo’s in Matthews Yard, when the theme will be Celebration and Moving Forward.  For now though, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following@youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, and liking Young People Insight on Facebook.

Info for December’s Young People Insight Forum

Back in January, I held the first Young People Insight forum, asking the young people in attendance what issues were important to them, as well as what they wanted from me and this platform.

Now we’re in the last month of the year, after holding 10 forums that covered various topics, including employment, violent crime and relationships.  As well as the forums, there was also the first poetry night in November.

Photo by Skitterphoto and used under Creative Commons  License
Photo by Skitterphoto and used under Creative Commons License

This makes it the ideal time for us to talk about moving forward as we go into 2017.  I want you to be part of the conversation of how Young People Insight will move forward next year, as it is important that you feel this platform is yours as much at it is mine.  We will also be looking back at what we’ve done over this year, identifying what worked well and what can be improved upon.

I think this is set to be a good conversation, helping to put Young People Insight in a good position for next year.  It will be followed by the games night, which will be fun, so even if you can’t make the forum, come out to play with us.

So if you’re 16-25, don’t miss the final Young People Insight forum of 2016 on Tuesday 20th December from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B (1 Bell Hill, Croydon CR0 1FB).  

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Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter, following @youngpeopleinsight on Instagram, and liking Young People Insight on Facebook .