Posts Tagged ‘National Youth Agency’
Let me tell you about the time I met David Cameron. Well actually, no, not the David Cameron, but now I have your attention, I’ll tell you about another Cameron – in fact I don’t even know his second name, he was just ‘Cameron’, a genuine guy who has no idea how inspiring he actually is…
I recently attended a seminar called ‘For Youth’s Sake’ in the Abbey Centre, Westminster, London; the seminar was organised by young people, Children & Young People Now and chaired by editor Ravi Chandiramani. The theme for the seminar was ‘The future of young people’s services’, the seminar also doubled as an opportunity to highlight and promote the ongoing ‘For Youth’s Sake‘ campaign, which demonstrates the importance and invaluable role of youth services on young people’s lives. In attendance were many professionals from the youth and community sector, keen to listen to, debate with, and hear from MPs and heads of young people’s services about the future of youth services.
A question time debate had been organised – the panel included MP Stuart Jackson, Linda Jack, a representative of the Liberal Democrats Party with a keen interest in youth affairs, Terry Ryall chief executive of v, Fiona Blacke chief executive of the National Youth Agency, and last but not least Labour MP Stella Creasy.
Although fascinating – the debate however was not the stand out moment of the event for me…It was, infact, a young lad called Cameron, one of the young people invited along to present a speech. Cameron had until the event never spoken in public or been to an event of this kind – he was clearly nervous – yet he stood up and did it, following a series of trained speakers and debaters. Cameron with no experience, in a totally foreign environment really went for it! Perhaps it wasn’t the perfect speech, Cameron lost his lines, messed up words, ocassionally took gaps as the audience willed him on. Cameron is not the perfect speech-giver, he’s a footballer and a genuine guy who wants to run a project and help others – the talk he gave however was truly inspiring, what he said was real and from the heart. Cameron was not the most polished or experienced speaker on the day but by far his courage and simple, honest words made him stand out from the crowd. As a youth worker myself this is what I really love to see, and I’m sure if I asked the audience there many would agree with me. Getting up in front of that many people and delivering such a successful and inspiring talk was a massive achievement, despite being nervous Cameron still stood in the line of fire – a sign of real integrity and courage. Perhaps Cameron is not the ‘finished article’ right now, but given time and the right support from youth services he can hone his skills, improve his understanding and develop into an outstanding leader of the future – a diamond in the rough will still always sparkle, in the right light…
With funding from vCashpoint Cameron, a semi pro footballer uses his spare time voluntarily (yes, voluntarily) not for money or fame, to teach kids how to play football and he’s willing to go out and put his neck on the line promoting his work to a room full of strangers. At 21 Cameron is teaching kids and working in the community and showing that he really wants to make a difference….
This is what youth work is all about to me, this is what the future of youth services are: providing a service for young people across the country who like Cameron, want to make a difference but need some direction and support in doing so. All young people, regardless of their background should be given the opportunity and support necessary to help others. At the end of the day, l say we keep the young people in mind, keep the young people at the forefront of our services and make sure that we are there for the young people who need us most…
Words: Gary Brunskill (v20 Support Worker)
Were you at the event? Do you know an unsung hero like Cameron? Why not share your thoughts with us….