How long were you in your Youth Voice Group, and what was your role?
I have been in the West Sussex Youth Cabinet for about a year and five months, during which I had the role of being the chairperson for the Youth Cabinet.
How do you think your group or campaign impacted Youth Voice / Key Issues in West Sussex?
My group campaign was for Discrimination and I think one impact it had, at the very least, for the members of our group was that as we researched into the issue in our various areas of West Sussex we became aware and learnt more things about the issue that even we were not aware of. I think this awareness plus our training on outreach and engaging with young people will impact this issue in West Sussex in that the members of our group will be confidently able to pass on this awareness to others, which ultimately will allow for others to be better able to voice out their dissatisfaction with cases of discrimination and to seek the proper course of actions for such behaviour.
What was your favourite project/campaign in your Voice Group? Why?
My favourite campaign has been that of discrimination. This is because the members of the campaign were a delight to work with, also as part of a minority group in Britain I felt that this was a campaign close to my heart and one in which I had a lot of relation to.
What opportunities did your Voice Group open up for you?
The Youth Cabinet opened many opportunities for me, one of which being the chance to meet new people who were equally as interested as I was in increasing youth voice and making young people key figures in matters affecting them. Another opportunity I greatly appreciated was being able to attend the European Youth Event, which to me really cemented my aspiration to further improve the chances for young people to be more aware and more engaged with the decision makers.
What skills & personal development did you gain from being in the group?
The skills I have further developed are my communication skills which some may see as being unimportant but which I have found indispensable and also valuable for me going to university as I will have to work and study with a variety of people from different countries and beliefs. Also a personal development I have noticed within myself is the ability to converse with ‘adults’ without the fear that my opinions may be silly or unimportant, it also means I am able to confidently convey my points to people in authority and who can further enable to carry out the campaigns or projects I may be a part of in the future.
How will these new skills help you in the future?
As I mentioned in the previous question these skills will help me in university to comfortably engage with a wide variety of people and to be able to present my own thoughts an views in ways that are respectful and concise.
What is your favourite memory during your time at your Voice Group?
My favourite memory will always be of our residential trip where the members of the Youth cabinet were just first meeting each other and saying our tentative hello’s. What makes this memory so special to me is that at the beginning I did not even realise how important our roles would be in the make your mark campaign and how I would meet some of the really close friends I now speak to regularly.
What are you up to now?
I am currently preparing to move to London where I will be attending university to study biomedical science. As I prepare to embark on the next adventure in my life I cannot help but note how much I will miss being a part of such an empowering youth voice group such as the West Sussex Youth Cabinet.
Is there anything else you would like to say about Youth Voice in this country, or about your Voice Group?
Youth voice in Britain can definitely be classed amongst the best in the world, one thing I would like to say which could improve about voice groups would be that there needs to be closer partnerships between schools and youth voice organisations to allow for more interest to be garnered from students to engage with youth voice and getting the viewpoints of young people heard and listened to.
Written by Precious Otor – ex-Chair of Youth Cabinet
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