Youth groups and organisations:
By Mia-lily Drew
Across Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire there are quite a few youth led organisations and groups, those of whose goals are to give young people a voice and an outlet so that they can speak their opinion and make positive changes to the lives of other young people. I think it’s so important that these kinds of groups exist as far too many choices are made for youth by people who are not within the affected age range; giving young people a chance to speak for themselves is extremely beneficial to this generation.
An example of one of these groups is the Luton and Bedfordshire youth association, the biggest non-uniformed organisation which works to provide educational learning experiences for young people through different leisure and social activities. As well as this, they also participate in large group projects and charity work; raising money for a good cause. This group is a brilliant example of the positive influence these organisations have on this generation; putting young people’s minds and abilities to good use and getting them to do something they can be proud of.
Another brilliant organisation is the Central Bedfordshire Youth Parliament, which is made up of around 25 young people who all want to make a positive change in their lives and the people around them. They work directly with organisations such as the police and the council in a professional and serious way, going directly to the people who can make a change and offering their ideas and opinions. This group presents great opportunities; for example, two of the 25 will be chosen to represent Central Beds in the national youth parliament, and will get to be a part of a debate and discussion held in the house of commons. This is an incredible opportunity which would be hard to come by anywhere else, which goes to show just how much these organisations can do for young people.
These are just two of the many groups, small and large, that operate in our local region. I didn’t personally realise just how many there were until I researched them for this purpose and it’s impressive to me that there are as many as there are, as it shows to me that young people and their voices are being taken seriously and treated like they’re just as important as anyone else’s voice. Though, I would love to see them get more publicity and advertisement because if I knew about these groups when I was younger I would have 100% gotten involved, and I’m sure many younger people feel the same way and don’t know who they can look up to and join. These groups are so good for personal growth and development in multiple ways; it helps develop confidence in yourself especially in public speaking and leadership situations, as well as building your confidence in your own opinions and feelings. It grows your social skills as you meet many new people and will often be presented with new crowds and areas which you need to be confident and comfortable in. They also impact your interpersonal skills, which is a key element of the development that you can take away and use in the rest of your life when youre looking into employment and a career.
Holistically I feel like these organisations are what young people have needed for a long time; I’m glad the youth’s voice is being valued and listened to, and I would advise all young people that if they can, they should get involved in one way or another.