We need to be sharing more stories about young peopleNov 22nd, 2011 • Category: News
I don’t know whether it is the grey days or the early nights or the challenges of running my own organisation but I have to be honest, I’ve been feeling out of sorts recently and in search of inspiration.
Last week I found it in buckets at the House of Lords when I was attending the charity London Youth’s launch of Hunch: ‘A vision for youth in post austerity Britain’. This was a vision of a Britain that invested in the capabilities and character of the next generation.
There was a stellar line-up of third sector leaders including the CEO of London Youth Nick Wilkie and Lord Victor Adebowale, all championing the role of youth work and young people. As Lord Adebowale argued: “During a recession – youth services are first to go. We should be investing in young people.”
But it was London Youth trustee, 21-year-old Francis Augusto, who was the highlight of the evening. He came to the UK from Angola with his family to start a new life. But life was challenging and at the age of 13 he was going off the rails and was arrested for GBH. However, his life was turned around thanks to a special youth worker who supported him and encouraged him “to be the best he could be”.
He describes himself as “a prime example of what makes youth work such a great profession”, but says young people’s voices need to be heard. He is now a student of sociology at Roehampton University – a mentor, leader and social entrepreneur, but most importantly an example of a voice that needs to be heard.
But, if I was feeling inspired so were many others in the room…
I wanted as many other people to hear his story. So I picked up my trusty iPhone, managed to grab Frances from the crowd and recorded my own audioboo interview with him, uploaded it and tweeted it out. Simple, immediate, straightforward and free.
And it was that example of sharing a story to a wider audience which reminded me why I do what I do. There is still a real need to for charities like London Youth to tell their amazing stories to the broadest possible audience. At sounddelivery, our aim is to give organisations the skills so that they can do this themselves, but on occasion they might need a helping hand and I felt privileged to be in that position last week.