As the #iwill campaign have been doing #iwillAdvent on their twitter account, I thought it would be the right time to write another post about youth social action and volunteering! This time though I would like to showcase 12 of this year’s ambassadors for their fantastic work and commitment to their communities. So as an #iwill ambassador myself (selected in 2015), I’m ready to share some awesome stories!
(I apologise for the formatting, not sure what’s happened!)
If you don’t know what #iwill is by now, then you need to take a look at my earlier posts 😉
- Brief Intro to the #iwill campaign
- It’s #iwill Week! It’s time to share #YouthSocialAction stories!
- #iwill Week 2017
It’s time to recognise some amazing people!
First up is….Charlea Medcalf
She is a young commissioner for the South Norfolk Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and she responds to the needs of those living in this area by commissioning projects.
I used to do this with the Breckland Youth Advisory Board and can say that it is a great way to have a say and improve services and monitor youth provisions active in the county of Norfolk.
She also volunteers weekly for a project called Digital Buddies, who help older people use technology and learn to benefit from the internet.
By being part of these projects, she has:
- Gained confidence
- Gained leadership skills
I’m pretty sure we met at the Gift of the YAB, and some other youth events, when I was a Young Commissioner and a Member of Youth Parliament and she is definitely one to watch when it comes to making change and community a better place. I feel it is always nice seeing people from your home area getting involved and being recognised for the positive work they are doing.
Second up is… Connor Tomlinson
I have had the pleasure of working with Connor through Student Voice UK and I can honestly say he is amazing young person, who does so much for his community.
He is a Member of the UK Youth Parliament for Surrey and is involved in Surrey Police Cadets to promote youth engagement.
On twitter, I always see him getting up to something positive, so you should definitely go and check it out! (@ccjtomlinson)
Third up is… Eleanor Burnaby-Rouse
She works with the Youth Parliament and her local youth council to make change in her area.
She has been fundraising for charity since the age of 10 and felt inspired by her mum to get involved in social action.
Most recently, she was awarded Member of the Year of Kent Youth County Council and she said “it’s given me even more motivation to carry on campaigning and doing what I love!”
Fourth up is… Ray Wang
He was part of Waveney Youth Council and was responsible for organising Takeover Day in the district (you can find out more about the national day here!) He also led the Transition Ambassador Project.
He feels that it is important to make a change in the local community and it is good to create opportunities for today’s young people.
Fifth up is… Jenny Raw
She has organised social action projects that engaged young people with human rights, especially equality of gender. She was invited to become the National Council of Women first youth representative and now visits schools, giving talks about how young people can get involved in the work she is doing.
In addition, she has participated in activities with The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, Aspire Make A Difference Young Leaders Conference and Huffington Post UK Youth Voices.
Sixth up is… Rowan Munson
He is a youth voice advocate in health and social care and was one of the first members of the NHS Youth Forum. He was also on the 2015 Youth Select Committee on Mental Health and he writes fortnightly columns in the local press about youth issues.
What his story shows is even if you’re from a deprived area, you can still achieve your goals!
Seventh up is… Scarlett Wallis
Her social action relates to the issue of the environment as she takes part in litter picks in her local community and takes part in campaigns including the Great British Bee Count.
She likes to take part in youth social action as it means she gets to spend time with other people her age and it means she can inspire others to get involved and make an impact.
She told the #iwill campaign the following:
“I like raising money and awareness for wildlife
campaigns and charities, and encouraging those
around me to join in!”
Eighth up is… Keiran Harvey
He started his social action journey by volunteering for a community radio station at the age of 13.
At this point, he realised there weren’t many opportunities for young people in this industry and he wanted this to change.
Later on, he went to set up the Youth Radio Network, which was awarded funding through O2 Think Big.
Ninth up is… Katie Heath
Her first taste of social action happened with her local library’s summer reading challenge, volunteering in the children’s section three times a week for many months and this lead to her being awarded the Oxfordshire Young People’s Award.
Her journey progressed to new heights, when she took part in social action abroad to Nepal and Kenya. Now, she volunteers, working with the homeless in Southampton. As social action has become a large part of her life, she now enjoys volunteering with a range of charities and organisations in her local area.
Tenth up is… Ashley Carter
He is an inspiring young person in many ways. He was born with Treacher Collins syndrome,which means that he was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheek bones.
In the past, he was bullied because of the way he looks. Due to this experience, he was motivated to take part in Fixers, in a social action campaign to stop children being bullied because they look different.
Eleventh up is… Jade Forsyth
Her social action is all about sharing her personal story with others to raise awareness of young people’s mental health with the aim of encouraging other young people to open up.
She did this by making a film and she feels that it is important that young people learn about these conditions and what they should do if they feel vulnerable.
Finally, last but definitely not least, is…. Adam Cousins
He regularly volunteers with his local Fire Cadets and supports them at community events like Air Shows. In addition to this, he holds fundraisers at the Fire Station and these include car washes. Inter-generational action is important to him, so he also volunteers at a local care home, to help with the bingo!
Why he likes youth social action:
- Allows him to gain skills
- Learn from others
- Take part in new experiences
Of course, this is just a selection of the amazing young people who have been selected as #iwill ambassadors this year, and I would like to say well done to them all, as their personal journeys are extremely inspiring!
You can read more at http://www.iwill.org.uk/iwill-ambassadors/ and you can follow the #iwill campaign on twitter @iwill_campaign
I hope that by reading these stories, you will want to make a positive change in your community and be a change maker!