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26 May, 2023

Tyler’s Experience with the North Yorkshire Youth Commission

Tyler at the seaside
Hi there, my name is Tyler, I’m 19 and the new Project Assistant for the North Yorkshire Youth Commission (NYYC). This blog is a little summary of my NYYC highlights and what it has taught me over the last 4 years. I hope you enjoy!

Discovering the NYYC

In the long Summer between finishing my GCSEs and preparing to tackle my A-levels, I celebrated the end of secondary school by participating in the National Citizen’s Service. One of the workshops that took place, as part of the 4-week programme was a drug and alcohol abuse workshop delivered by the NYYC.

I remember the key message was to raise awareness of the issue of drugs and alcohol with a focus on how to look after yourself and your friends. Having a young person delivering the workshop made the environment feel comfortable despite discussing a difficult topic. As someone who is passionate that young people’s voices matter, it was refreshing to have people genuinely wanting to listen to everyone’s individual opinions on the topic, rather than the stereotypical “don’t do drugs”.

The workshop was an effective balance of being educational but also making us feel heard.

Becoming a Volunteer

After the workshop, I applied to become a volunteer and was accepted onto the team.

Since then, I’ve had the chance to discuss important topics that affect young people with the other members and experience great opportunities such as Spiking and Bystander Awareness Training.

Being a student in a university environment has emphasised the extent to which spiking is an issue. The Spiking Training helped reassure me by providing me with the correct information to look after myself and my friends, whilst being able to input my own opinion on the issue.

The Bystander Awareness Training focused on the impact one person can have on a bully by doing something so simple to defuse a situation. Bullying is prevalent among young people and adults – it’s safe to say if you haven’t experienced being bullied yourself, you’ve witnessed it. The Bystander Awareness Training highlighted the impact that one person can have on a bullying scenario, which is an incredibly powerful thing to learn when so many people experience it.

The NYYC is a safe, inclusive environment that allows you to openly discuss your own opinions whilst being in a space to learn from others too, whether that be from talking to police officers, hearing lived experiences or general conversations.

When I joined the NYYC, I was quite a bit younger than I am now and it gave me the space and opportunity to consider my own views and develop them on certain issues along the way. I think one important aspect of growing up is the realisation that not everything is black or white, and my experiences within the NYYC helped shape that.

Exposure to Different People:

Being a part of the NYYC has exposed me to people from all ages, backgrounds and careers, which have all highlighted different things.

By working so closely with the police and organisations, it’s given me a better insight into what their job consists of daily and shown me first-hand their willingness and passion to support people in the community, especially young people.

Meeting so many young people across North Yorkshire, who are their own unique individuals has emphasised the importance of listening with no judgement and learning from other people’s personal experiences, which is truly invaluable.

The Big Conversation Conference

One of the many highlights of the NYYC is the Big Conversation Conferences. Knowing you are presenting the opinions of young people from North Yorkshire to those who can make a difference makes you feel empowered. It’s our opportunity to show that not only will young people’s voices be heard, but they will also be acted upon.

The conference always highlights that despite differences in jobs, ages and backgrounds, we are all individuals with the common goal of wanting to be better for young people. It emphasises that even when you don’t see the good every day, especially due to social media, there are so many people working to change things.

Joining the Leaders Unlocked Team

Very recently I took on the role of project assistant for North Yorkshire. So far, it’s been great at putting me out of my comfort zone and challenging me on a regular basis: from public speaking to interacting with different people. I can’t wait to start delivering workshops to different groups of young people across North Yorkshire.

So far, I’ve helped with the recruitment of 15 new volunteers for the NYYC. Having the chance to interview was a great way to get to know our new members individually and to see what their existing opinions are, especially after once being the interviewee myself. I’m looking forward to seeing how their opinions develop and change throughout their time on the NYYC.

Since joining the team I’ve already learned a lot and I’m really looking forward to supporting the members to help plan and organise our next steps.

A Few Final Bits…

Spending 4 years on the NYYC has given me the opportunity to support young people and develop as an individual along the way. The NYYC has taught me to be confident in expressing my own opinions and the importance of taking the time to listen and get to know other people.

I’ve loved my time being a part of the NYYC and I can’t wait to further develop even more within my job role and continue providing young people with a voice.

Thank you so much for reading.