5 April 2023
On the 24th March, I attended the Back Youth Alliance (BYA) Strategy Day in London. CEOs, Youth Reps and Policy Reps from the BYA organisations were invited. The core aim was for us all to collaborate towards policy objectives for the BYA, through discussion of our shared vision for young people. Here, I represented the #iwill movement as a representative to the BYA.
I am an #iwill Ambassador and currently live in Bristol where I study French, Law, and Politics. The Back Youth Alliance is a collaboration of CEOs and Youth Reps from the leading youth organisations in the UK. We are working together in order to present a clear voice to decision-makers and thus influence policy. As a youth rep, I contribute my opinions and experiences as a young person as well as of those around me. My role, and that of the other youth reps, allows the views of young people to be heard at policy level, thus being used in decision-making.
During the day, there were two main sessions. The first being with the aim of envisioning a collective Back Youth Agenda, where we discussed our overall aims of the key focus areas: Health and Wellbeing; Education, Skills and Employability; Housing and Community; as well as Safety and Justice. For each area, we created some high-level ambition statements, this was thought-provoking and allowed us to pin-point the overall outcomes we hope to achieve. The second, was around our policy priorities and how each organisation can support them. Each of us was able to move to different stations around the room, for each priority, in order to discuss with others our thoughts, opinions, and aims around the topic.
I met and had discussions with many different people within the youth sector. It is always enriching to hear the different views and opinions towards the best routes of tackling the issues faced by young people. The BYA is a brilliant example in displaying the importance of having various organisations coming together for their shared aim: improving the lives of young people.
Having a guest from The Department of Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) talk to us about the current ministerial priorities was also key in us understanding how DCMS have been taking on our points following from the roundtable discussion we had with Minister Stuart Andrew in February.
As a young person myself, I was able to use my own lived experiences to bring insight into different discussions where I am directly affected. Being able to sit in a room talking about the problems I care about, whilst truly being listened to, is an absolute privilege.
A big thank you to the chairs, facilitators, and speakers for their effort put into the day. I look forward to the future of the Back Youth Alliance, seeing the change that we can make.
The Back Youth Alliance was created to champion solutions together with young people for our most pressing challenges, speaking with one voice and ensuring that funding delivers the greatest impact.
For more information about the #iwill Movement, click visit iwill.org.uk