Learning about youth engagement with UK Youth

Youth Voice

This blog was written by Megan English, who is currently undertaking a placement at UK Youth. For more information about UK Youth voice, please go here.

It’s hard to believe that my time at UK Youth and in London are almost over. After I decided to come to London to study abroad, I was really looking forward to learning more about British culture, history, and politics. While here, I was able to study British history and architecture. Along side this, I have been doing a placement at UK Youth. Here I have been able to learn more about the issues young people face and meet several young people from across the country.

During my time at UK Youth, I had the opportunity to meet UK Youth Voice Alumni at their Alumni Planning Day. It was really interesting to hear their ideas, and I enjoyed meeting them all. It was a really great day filled with headshots, a picnic lunch, and discussing what the Voice alumni group would look like to do in the future. I enjoyed listening to their opinions, and it was cool to hear them all express themselves. I was impressed with how this day went overall, and I was hopeful that the Parliamentary event the following week would be just as exciting and filled with young people.

A day in Parliament

Coming from the United States, I had never been inside of Parliament before. The day of UK Youth’s Parliamentary event, I was excited to get to see the inside of this beautiful building that people are always posting pictures in front of online. It was really nice on the inside and larger than I had anticipated.

There were two sessions on the topics of youth services and getting young people involved in decision making. On both panels, UK Youth Voice members and Members of Parliament discussed these topics. Young people in the audience were encouraged to raise questions to those on the panel. Both sessions were really fascinating, and the young people’s participation was great to see. It was really motivating to see them all speak confidently and present their questions

I found it so inspiring that the young people in attendance were so passionate and eager to make a change. They were passionate about changing their communities and wanted to ensure their are voices heard. Despite being from a different country, I agreed with a lot of what they had to say. It’s a universal wish to have your voice heard and to have your opinions respected. Being a bystander to things that you do not agree with and want to change is difficult. But everyone in attendance was ready to voice their opinions in order to create a better future.

Looking forwards

Unfortunately, my time at UK Youth and in London is ending. But I will not forget all that I learned here and the people I got to meet. I want to bring back home all I learned on encouraging and engaging the young people in my programs. I’ll empower them to have the confidence to express themselves and have a voice about what they want in their programs and communities. I’m sad to be leaving London soon, but I can definitely say I learned a lot and had a wonderful experience throughout my time here.

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