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11 June, 2019

“Being a Youth Commission member is a very good way of growing as a person”

Read Toms's story to hear how he has grown as a person whilst making a difference to young people's lives in North Yorkshire.

At the end of Volunteers Week in June 2019, Tom from Northallerton, one of North Yorkshire Youth Commission’s most experienced members, represents the group one last time. It’s a fitting departure after a great journey as today we are in York visiting a York College provision for young people who struggle with mainstream college. Before we spoke to staff to explain KYMSGAME and its potential benefits I caught up with him to reflect on his journey.

So why did you join the Youth Commission?

“I remember my Form Tutor dropped a letter on my desk in front of me and said I think you might be interested in this. I was keen to help people so I applied. I could see it was a fun environment and I could soon see how it would be a great way to help me improve. I also felt I had stuff to give, with knowledge expertise and past experiences.”

“Originally I thought it would good on my CV but further down the line I realised it doesn’t really matter if it goes on my CV or not because I felt like I was actually making a difference.”

What impact has being a Youth Commission Member had on you?

“It’s given me more insight and knowledge of policing. It’s has also helped me shape how I go about things in day-to-day day life, its taught me how to help others a bit more. I’ve heard hundreds of people’s stories as part of the research, people come up to you and open their hearts. It’s been enlightening to see how I can relate to them, and how I can help them or them help me.”

What’s been important to you in your time as a member?

“Knowing that I’m helping and knowing that I am a positive influence towards things changing. We’ve helped to change how the Police work and I feel like I have had a part to play in that – making North Yorkshire a better place.”

What experiences will you remember?

“The most influential experiences have probably been the subgroups. Being round the table with senior officers and being listened to and asked for my opinion has been a privilege. It’s great to know that they do want to make a difference and that listening to us is one of their priorities.”

What are you most proud of?

“I was in the promotional film, I also helped sculpt the social media aspect so that contributed to a change in a way the Police communicate. Helping people in uniform with ideas and helping my own peers has been great.”

“I’ve given my honest opinions and people have really appreciated it. I know from my own experience that feeling that like you don’t have anyone there is the worst thing. Its been so refreshing to be that person who can help.”

“As a young person myself, dealing with lots of negative things can put a lot of pressure on you. So if times are getting a bit tough, people may feel like they need to do such things as turn to crime, carry knives or weapons to protect themselves, self harm or even commit suicide. No person should ever feel the need to do this. In reality all they need is just a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel to overcome the hard times they are facing.”

What would you say people could gain from being a Youth Commission member?

“I’d say you can gain a lot of confidence from being in a group like this. You might be nervous when you get asked to go to your first activity but after you get into the flow of things it builds your confidence and knowledge.”

“Being a Youth Commission member is a very good way of growing as a person”

“I’m happy with where its is going. People move on but from one insight to another insight the Youth Commission is growing.”

What’s next?

“Next I’ll be moving on to the RAF. I’ll still be keeping up to date to see what’s happening. I’m excited for the future I’ve been striving for this and it’s hopefully going to be the best years of my life”

Tom we wish you all the best. Thank you for you contribution and commitment.

If you, or someone you know is 14-25 and interested in becoming a Youth Commission member, please get in touch –

Email – chris@leaders-unlocked.org
Instagram – yc_northyorks
Twitter – @NorthYorksYC