Three years ago, I set up the Young People Insight blog.
Last year, I launched Young People Insight as a physical, interactive platform by holding the first forum.
Since that initial forum in January 2016, I’ve learnt, observed, trialed, and planned, laying the foundations for what this platform will develop in to over time.
It hasn’t been easy and I know that it won’t get any easier, but it feels worth it when I see all that YPI has done and think about all that it can do. I’ve wanted to give up on a number of occasions and questioned if there is any use in taking it forward, but I know this is my purpose and I want to continue with the work I started.
The choice to continue was not an easy decision to make – it took time and intense reflection – but once I made my decision, I realised that some changes needed to be made. After over 15 forums and eight poetry nights, it feels like the format has become a little stagnant. I also had not come good on providing enough of what the young people said they wanted at the very first forum, or even spoken to a wide enough range of young people.
I know that YPI can not only do more, but it can be more. The forums (this name is definitely subject to change) need to be fresh and a lot more interactive, with set action points we can take forward. I want to add some new elements to the poetry nights, so everyone in attendance feels included in some way and the feel is not the same month on month.
The YouTube channels still needs to be added to. A team needs to be put in place, as I cannot efficiently and realistically do everything on my own anymore. More events will be coming, including workshops, interactive talks, a wider range of social events and more in line with the work that YPI was set up to do.
Most of all, I want to have a stronger focus on the community/family aspect of YPI, which I believe is part of what makes it so special. I intend to take a stronger, personal interest in the individuals involved, so I can provide any support or direction to other services and events when possible.
These developments – and a lot more – will also contribute to YPI taking the steps from being just a platform to operating as a social enterprise (I’m already starting work on the business plan).
Overall, the core of the developments made will be suggestions and insights from young people, particularly those in Croydon. It is important for YPI to be a youth-led platform for young people, with input from others so I am not solely making the decisions.
One of the key ways you can help is by filling out the YPI survey if you are 16-26, which will only take a few minutes: http://bit.ly/ypi-survey
It is your input that will propel Young People Insight forward, allowing us to make a difference in our community and society as a whole.