Big changes start locally

The Power of Youth Voice

Hannah YAP

Imagine a hospital without doctors, what about a restaurant without a chef? It seems pretty ridiculous right? Now imagine a youth project without any young people, the project would be pointless! It would be an empty building with no point or purpose. This empty building represents a youth project with no youth voice. Without a say in running the project and what should happen, young people feel no responsibility, no ownership and therefore they lose respect. The youth project returns to the adults who run it and the young people feel disconnected.

A youth project revolves around youth. It's the entire point! So why shouldn't the young people have a say in how the project runs? They should have a say in the sessions they attend, the way the sessions are run, everything!

When you give young people a responsibility and a voice it is important to listen and take note because what young people have to say is invaluable and they have an understanding of other young people that adults don't.

How quiet the world would be without young people's voices. Some people think that all young people talk and think about are memes and fortnite and that may be true but they also have so much to say about the world around them and shouldn't they have a say? Afterall the world is happening to them as well. Climate change, mental health and education are all subjects that have a huge impact on young people and the adults they will become.

Imagine a world without the voices of Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai or Emma González. Their voices traveled the world, changed lives and inspired millions as well as creating meaningful and positive change for all of us. Every young person has a voice as powerful as those three amazing young women they just need the support to find it.

We can all support young people to find their voice, through youth work, charity work, education or supporting causes where youth voice is at the heart. The power and importance of youth voice in the community is invaluable all we have to do is listen!

Watch the youth panel film evaluation here.

Hannah Fleming

#iwill Take Action Fund Youth Advisory Panel Member

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