Thursday, 30 September 2010
Wot a Week!
Hello everyone and welcome to my Blog! It seems by all accounts that Blogs are the new Black!
I am very excited about my new blog and what it will help me do. I am going to be sharing with you every week some of the fantastic work that I am involved in, with the people that make Leicester & Leicestershire what it is… our great and inspiring young people. I will be sharing with you young people’s contributions to Leicester WAVE (the UK’s only written, edited & sourced newspaper), the work of Leicester’s Children’s Council (the platform for the voices of young people aged 7-13), keeping you updated with the going’s on in our Wot Box projects within Leicester Libraries and much much more.
Yesterday saw the 9th edition of Leicester WAVE hit the shelves inside the Leicester Mercury. It is by far the strongest edition and the young people involved of all ages, backgrounds and abilities have shown what they are capable of. I have the pleasure of supporting all the young people involved in WAVE and it has to be said its been quite a journey of the last 9 months, but when I see the finished product it makes everything worth it.
I receive some great feedback from adults, parents and young people about WAVE and yesterday evening a young person sent me a text which said “Thanks so much for publishing my article, it’s quite amazing to be able to walk into a shop and see your own words in print, I really appreciate it thank you”.
The work and commitment that is put into the project by the young people is by far the most amazing thing and my response to such statements are that YOU the young people own this newspaper and it is there for you to have a voice and express the things that you feel passionate about.
Mo Farah with Hollie From Wave & Dan from Inspire LeicesterShire
Another event that is getting all the young people excited at the moment is the build up to the 2012 Olympics. Lots of young people I work with are very enthusiastic about getting involved in projects and events like The Mighty Creative Journals project, Phoenix Square’s 2012 media centre being run by John Coster from Citizens Eye and also all the opportunities to interview athletes like Sam Oldham (who appears in this issue of WAVE) and Mo Farah, who was at Victoria Park on Sunday to support a 5K fun run for the Kashmir Orphans Charity KORT. Although it is still just under 2 years away, the word is out and young people want to be part of it.
Leicester Children’s Council are busy planning a round table event at the Phoenix on Friday 15th October during the Local Democracy Week programme called Leicester Speaks. It’s to build on the work of the huge citywide consultation they conducted called We All Matter, where they spoke to 1,132 young people from across Leicester. They are aiming to speak to key decision makers and professional from the local authority on the 2 main issues that young people said were important: drugs & alcohol and not enough things to do. The event has been organized by the Children’s Council Mentors who are bringing together 40 young people to take part in the event.
I get really passionate about young people having a voice within their local communities and have just started to plan to arrange ‘news’ style bulletins by young people at Ward Meetings. The whole approach will see young people deliver a 10-minute news slot about issues young people have, within their local
The 1st session is going to take place at the Westcotes Ward meeting on the 6th October. I am sure it will be interesting and will be sure to use my new blog to keep you all updated.
One of the ways I have been working to develop capturing the views of young people within their local communities is through Wot Box projects. These projects run out of Libraries across the city and enable local young people to learn how to become young reporters through accessing training workshops and equipment. This then helps them to write news articles and conduct interviews in and around their local area about things that are important to them. The last 6 weeks have seen new projects start at the Braunstone, Saffron and Beaumont Leys library and to prove that it works, 7 mini articles that featured in this issue of WAVE, came from young people new to the project.
I want to complete this weeks blog by saying thank you to everyone who has contributed to WAVE this month. Please keep up the fantastic work, and to every young person I have spoken to and have worked with, please continue to make my job one of the best in the world and the reason why I continue to get out of bed every morning.