Posts Tagged ‘v20’
Last Thursday was no normal day for the team here at v, oh no! Instead of heading to sunny v HQ to sit at our desks and make waves on Outlook, we made our merry way to Camley Street Nature Park in King’s Cross wearing slacks and hiking boots to do a day of volunteering! After a morning of mulching, weeding and tempering, we had a hearty lunch before painting some lovely quotes on boards to go up around the Community Garden! And just in case you don’t believe that we really did get down to the manual work, check out the pic of my tempering handywork on the right there >>
If all that wasn’t enough to make the day stand out, the party animals in the group changed into their Thursday night finest to join our lucky competition winners at the vinspired Lake of Stars Fundraiser gig, featuring Tinashe and the Noisettes. Held in the beautiful Union Chapel in Islington, N. London, the gig was put on to raise money for the vinspired Lake of Stars music festival in Malawi, happening this October. Run completely by volunteers, the festival and the fundraiser gigs are an incredible showcase of exactly what volunteers can do when they put their minds to it! And I am absolutely sure anyone at this gig would agree that it was an incredible evening…
New talent Tinashe blew the crowd away with a selection of smooth tracks from his new album ‘Saved’, before the Noisettes took the night to a whole new level with the sound of Shingai Shoniwa’s voice echoing through the eerie chapel setting. What made the night was not just the amazing raw talent, or the fact that we were all sitting in pews feeling a little overawed by the accoustics and our surroundings, but the fact that the whole night was run by volunteers to raise money for a festival that is making a huge difference in Malawi.
To find out more or to get involved, click here now.
Last Thursday, I and fellow v20 members Chris, Sonali and Vanessa were lucky enough to stroll into Portcullis House, Parliament to showcase v’s work alongside other volunteering organsations at the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services reception, in association with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs – what a mouthful. Two hours of sharing experiences with other young volunteers, making contacts and scouting for MPs, it was a fantastic experience.
The committee room was small and the room was full to its brim – a testament to dispel the myth that adults don’t care about young people.It was my first time networking with so many people. It was really inspiring and great to see so many people out to see the work of young volunteers.The event started off with a speech by Natascha Engel MP (Chair of the APPGYA), who talked about the issues young people, volunteers in particular, face today. Shortly after, three young people showcased their volunteering success and their experiences but one really stood out to me.
Peter, a Young Ambassador for the Princes Trust, spoke about his hardships after immigrating from Nigeria and how he overcame personal problems by volunteering in his community with the Princes Trust and contacted his local MP. He subsequently managed to do a years work shadowing with Nick Hurd. Nick Hurd is the newly-appointed Minister for Civil Society and he also spoke. His speech underlined a message about ‘big society’ and pledges to make volunteering easier. Mr Hurd spoke about the desire to consult communities, including young people on how to make volunteering better. Though, I lost track the number of times ‘big society’ was said on the night and Mrs Engle later refrained from using the term!
Then, the event kicked off. We had our stand with v stuff and began to network with many of organisations present. Then slowly, MPs drifted in. We spoke to James Morris MP and Nick Hurd MP discussing volunteering and future of v. v20 member Vanessa discussed her vcashpoint project with him and he was deeply impressed. We also talked briefly to Tim Loughton, the Childrens Minister.
Then came along Lisa Nandy MP, newly elected to represent Wigan, not far from where I live. She wandered over to our desk and I started talking to her about her v, and her previous work at the Children’s Society. Then, we
managed to discover we were both born, lived and studied in Bury. Small world, isn’t it? Before ending our 10 minute conversation, she offered to put pressure on the Government to keep supporting the work of v and said she would ask a question in Parliament on my behalf; this made me feel very proud that I successfully networked and lobbied an MP for the first time. She also offered me to do work placement at her office. It truly shows young people have enormous influence and power, contrary to popular belief. We can do it!
I believe politicians do want to hear from us and it’s up to you to let them know. Email your local MP, tell them about your views and issues, and get involved locally.
Simon Hughes, the new deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats came, in spectacular fashion with 10 minutes before the event ended and made a small speech with a large effect on me. He talked about local participation, whether in schools or colleges and urged MPs to offer work experience to young people. He he also talked about action now, not in the future. He urged young people to get involved now and get involved in politics as politics affects everyone and everything. He’s right and I echo his message.
I really enjoyed the event, it brought us out of our shells and got us speaking to the politicians and other young people and only encouraged us to get involved even more.
Click here to see more photos of the event. Bye for now.
At the heart of Anatomy of Youth, the new report by v and Demos, is a set of youth portraits – each providing a snap shot of how young people are confronting the challenges and issues that face their generation.
In his foreword to the report, David Willetts MP – recently made Minister for Universities and Science – said he ‘welcomed this publication which looks at the younger generation from a fresh perspective. We hear the voice of young people themselves’. David Willetts’s endorsement is particularly pleasing given his own work looking at the relationship between the generations, most recently in his book, ‘The Pinch: How the Baby Boomers Took Their Children’s Future – And How They Can Give it Back’.
To coincide with the launch of Anatomy of Youth last week we heard from v’s advisory board, v20, who produced insightful takes on the report’s key themes; digital identity, effective citizens, new families, changing communities, and climate change.
v is proud to act as a strong advocate for young people, so too are the many hundreds of organisations we fund and work with. A great example is ITV Fixers, which this week launched the London part of their national roll out. Fixers are young people aged between 16 and 25 who identify an issue of concern and with practical help and guidance, ‘fix’ it. The range of projects is impressive, as is the energy and commitment of the young people involved.
ITV Fixers is run by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust (PSBT) with the support from v through its Match Fund. Given the Trust’s unique relationship with ITV, Fixers are given a platform to get their voice heard by a large audience in the early evening regional news programme, and to follow their progress through the online channel ITV Fixers. Since its launch, over 11 hours of programming has been broadcast showcasing Fixer’s projects. A great assault on the negative perception of young people. And just one of the ways v and its partners are enabling young people to contribute to the causes and communities they care about, particularly those who are new to volunteering and those from hard to reach or disadvantaged groups.
Not to start on a sad note, but ’tis a sad sad day folks! ‘Why?’, I hear you cry! Well, my blog-reading chums, I am afraid to say that after 18 months of writing blogs for the wondrous world of v, that I will now be moving on from the v web team (shed a tear people, shed a tear!).
Sadly, I have decided to move to pastures new and have made the decision to go to … wait for it…the v Marketing team! I know it is a great distance of a full one metre away from my previous desk, and you may miss my ramblings about the National Express, but the blogtastic news is that you are going to get a whole new and exciting blogger who will taking over my role… He is fabulous and talented and full of blogging banter, and his name is Jon Ezaro! (queue round of applause!)
For those who haven’t guessed, this vogue-esque picture above is of me and Jon in our official, business-stylee handover, so now you can visualise for yourself!
So it is now time to go and practice my marketing lingo and try and drag myself away from my keyboard, but I bid you farewell and welcome Jon with Cup-a-soup style virtual bear hug! Look after him everyone!
It’s a testament to the giant influence and command the internet has on our lives that for the ‘Anatomy of Youth’ launch event seven young people have spent the afternoon locked in a basement frantically typing away. For those that haven’t been able to make it, we’re the ones in photographs looking pretty darn tired!
We were all tasked with tackling different sections of the report, and it’s fallen to us to deal with the one that covers ‘Digital Identity’. I guess we were drawn into doing it as we’re both slightly 1337. Ste Prescott, another v20 member will join me on this blog, and for future reference anything in bold can be traced back to his giant mind. Just for reference, here’s a photograph of Ste, in case you want to chase him down a street at some point.
Let’s start with breaking down the title of this section. What is a digital identity? Having read the report, and from our own experiences in the internet world (Ste is a web designer and James is Social Media Consultant) a digital identity covers a whole heap of online information, but it can be broken down into two simple types:
- Online profiles: the ‘Public Image’ we aim to project to the rest of the world
- User generated content; blogs, comments, status updates, reviews
I’m sure everyone that’s dipped their toe into the strange world of Facebook, or indeed adventured into the shameless self promotion of Twitter understands what a profile is. So for the sake of calling everyone who’s reading this a geek we’ll move on and address the concerns that come with ‘living online’ and having ‘digital identity’.
In a passing note, Jon (another v20 member) expressed a very interesting opinion in his blog “Changing Communities – The Disconnect”, he mentioned the sadness he feels that people are more invested in online communities – with individuals the other side of the world – than they are with their own communities. In a strange show of individualism, I’m going to throw out a 45% view. It’s true that we are disconnected to our local communities, but I wouldn’t say that this is a direct result of the development of online societies. Perhaps the breakdown of local communities is a result of the modern transience of families and the increased flexibility of employment. But let’s not get sidetracked!
Ste has dragged out two factoids from the report and expressed his points about them:
42% of 16-24 year olds claim to know someone who has been embarrassed about information that has been uploaded to the internet without their consent. This is pretty normal for most of us that are on Facebook, a lot of times when you sign in you’ll find yourself tagged in a bad photograph.. no one asked for your permission but it’s up there for the world to see.
60% of 14-21 year olds have never considered any potential future effects of posting personal details about themselves online. This seems to draw on the fact that we as ‘youth’ are invested far too much in the here and now, and not the potential ramifications that having this information online could bring.
The most pressing issue for us, is that young people – well in fact most people that are online – don’t realise how much information they’re giving away by being online. Facebook makes you agree to their terms and conditions when you sign up, but how many people actually read it?
The internet is now no longer a purely personal realm. Companies are researching their potential employees before hiring to make sure they fit with their businesses ethos, and a lot of people are falling foul of the internet police. Comments made in jest can lead to the loss of a job, as many political candidates in the 2010 General & Local Elections will testify.
A more worrying element is that our online profile is being monitored by a wide range of companies, some for marketing purposes others with potentially more sinister intentions. We’ll leave you with a worrying thought, the CIA now own part of Visible Technologies – one of the biggest social media monitoring companies in the world – through their investment arm In-Q-Tel…
Beware what you put online… in case it comes back to bite you!
Having written a post on this topic over on the Voicebox site I felt it to comment on this subject here. The ideas of a ‘Lost Generation’ is pivotal to attitudes towards young people presently. As the Anatomy Of Youth’s second chapter indicates, the discourse and far reaching implications of the fabled ‘credit crunch’ upon labour conditions present a massive challenge for young people everywhere. As social theorists have noted, there is a clear correlation between the state of labour conditions – influenced in itself by economic resonances – and social relations and thus the social order. This order, in effect, is skewed and the result? Society is taking it out on young people.
This chapter addresses these discursive issues – the fundamental problems of which, lie in the favouring of older people over younger ones. There is a proven inequality currently in society. The detailing in the report first invites us to ask, then quantatively answers, why it is that young people should be helped.
The answer within this can be located in the future according to the report. As the report elaborates ‘this point in history is not a good moment to be young in the UK’. The far reaching affects of the slump will potentially cause massive cultural issues amongst this demograph in the future and thus is spawned the idea around the ‘Lost Generation’. The nation has been held in a situation where a lack of jobs, the cutting of hours and the arrest in broad hirings have resulted in a surge of university applications. So much so that 130,000 people had to be turned down.
This disbalance of the current social climate lies within the ideology surrounding social mobility as the second chapter of the report concludes. The newly formed roles and professions emerging in the ever changing economy cater to the skills sets of the youth. Young people now have the tools to really influence the societal structure, but it is employers who seem to be lacking the initiative to engage with this demograph. The report attempts to bring light to these issues whilst questioning the role of young people in our societal structure. Can employers cater to this generation? Is Britain prepared for these socially active, hyper connected, web savvy generation of kids? Does it want to?
I should hope so.
Take a peek at the report for a furthered response to the subject – it’s good reading, promise. Nice.
Being a member of v20 and working for the youth empowerment charity Envision I see and meet many young people that are active and effective citizens; young people that are volunteering, campaigning, starting their own projects and making a positive difference to issues they care about.
Chapter 7 of the Anatomy Of Youth report explores young people and the trends and challenges around being an effective citizen. Today there are many more ways to make a difference as a citizen. Young people have many avenues to express their opinions and campaign online, young people are pursuing careers in social and ethical areas and many express their views on things such as fair labour through what they buy. The chapter also highlights the lack of connection that exists between young people and political culture. Young people feel disillusioned with politics and politicians. The report explains that young people’s apathy towards politics is now greater now than at any point in history.
For me the chapter throws up two main concerns. Firstly, whilst some young people are ‘hyper engaged’ as effective citizens there are others that are completely disconnected from both wider arenas of active citizenship and traditional forms of political expression. We need to make sure that efforts are made to engage everyone as effective citizens. Secondly, whilst it’s positive that there are an increasing number of ways to be an effective citizen, these need to be accompanied by traditional political citizenship. As Stuart White points out democracy provides us with the opportunity to change our society – if the next generation becomes disengaged from it there is a risk that it will only represent a narrow section of society. We need to recognise the power of government, use our votes and hold politicians to account.
To enable young people to be the most effective citizens they can we need to be inclusive in our efforts to continue to encourage and expand the many ways that people can be active citizens. This needs to be accompanied by traditional political citizenship. I think we need better citizenship education in schools and, as the report highlights, there needs to be a transfer of political capital to young people so they can become more involved with and excited about politics.
The Anatomy of Youth report left me feeling pretty overwhelemed, which is quite appropriate, because that seems to be one of the key findings from the report! Young people, aged 16-25, have as many issues facing them as any other generation, probably more, and don’t always have the opportunity or resources to tackle these issues. We are stymied by our age, our education, our money, and by the fact that we’re young, we don’t always want to tackle these issues. If we can’t have fun now, when can we?
Theres an old phrase – societies benefit most when a man plants a tree that he’ll never sit under. How true. The most teeling phrase I found in the introduction was a phrase from the Labour Party’s statement, The Younger Generation (1959) which stated that its not young people who are the authors of their own future, but the current generation. They are the ones writing the story, that we are going to have to live. If we fail to tackle climate change today, for example, its us who are going to have to find the substitute for oil – not an easy task. So if the education system fails us, you’ve beaten us twice. The lack of longterm thinking, for the short term profit and benefit, is having the most effect on us. To steal a quote from the Simpsons, “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!” Why should it be our job to sort out your mess?
In the chapter on belonging to changing communites (chapter 6), research demonstrates that young people feel most disconnected from their local neighbourhoods and communities, less so than their online communities. I feel this is indicative of the selfish culture that was alloed to develop in the 1980s and has been advanced ever since. The interenet is a great tool, allowing its users (mostly young people) to flourish, but largely as individuals, or in a connected but deeply impersonal way. One example of this would be introducing yourself to people. Online, everyone has a list of likes and dislikes, their hobbies, and the events that they’ll be attending in the next month, that you can peruse before striking up a conversation. As Zygmunt Bauman points out, young people are losing the ability to ‘critically analyse’ others in social settings because people already have their souls laid out in front of them. I believe this is making young people less personal, and less willing or able to interact in social situations.
Our disconnect from each other is a huge threat to young people. What’s the point, emotionally, of being able to talk to five people in China, if you don’t know the names of the people next door? Page 112 of the report shows very clearly that if we don’t tackle our community disconnect, participation, volunteering, apathy, and involvement will be in decline.
Ironically, Bauman says that blogs are the embodiement of our competitive, desperate for attention, celebrity obsessed, living the private in public culture. Blogs exist to get noticed, and get attention, he says. Therefore, I’ll keep the rest of my thoughts to myself.
Unless you ask me.
It got to Friday afternoon last week and I was on my merry way to sunny Wales in time to see Mam for the godforsaken Mothers Day. I was trundling along on the <<National Express<< getting in a cheeky power nap when lo-and-behold I was awoken by the horrid reality that I am a bad blogger! ‘A bad blogger’, I hear you cry, ‘but why would you say that Jemima, when you entertain us weekly with your blog posts?’ (ahem, why thankyou .) Well, my dears (I say back to you in the least patronising way possible), I don’t know if you have noticed, but my last post was 2 weeks ago! So quite frankly a big sharp slap on the wrist and a selection of poor excuses from me…
… The reality is that our workload has been the equivalent size to Ashley Cole’s inbox of illicit messages and hence, I have been a little bit off-radar. The good news, however, is that we are all systems a go planning the campaigns that are going to make 2010 so special. With the bigvbus launching very soon, where you will have the opportunity to get to festivals for free, and vcashpoint launching even sooner, allowing you to apply for up to £2500 for a volunteering project, you will soon forgive and forget my bad blogging etiquette (stay tuned for more).
And in the meantime, you of course, have vinspired to keep your mouth watering. As well as the usual fantabulousness, we have got opportunities to volunteer at festivals coming at us from all over the place, so keep your beady yet beautiful eyes on this page so you don’t miss out.
Speak sooner than 2 weeks time!
Jemima and the vinspired team
Afternoon all and happy Friday to yous all.
Are you all sitting comfortably? For we have a warm fuzzy story for you, so sit back, pop on the kettle and enjoy
‘Twas a dark, windy Tuesday in February and on the busy streets of London, the rain was threatening to fall. Walking down the bustling streets of Covent Garden, you would never have guessed what was going on just minutes away in big beautiful setting of the Grand Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden…
… For there were hundreds of wondrous young people who had all completed a whopping 44 weeks of volunteering as part of v‘s full-time volunteering programme, vtalent year. As the warm, scrumptious food was served young people from each region of the whole country took their places as they prepared for what would be a very special moment.
As each of the 358 graduates were called to the stage to be met by none other than our v Queen, CEO Terry Ryall, they each received a certificate signed by none other than Gordy Brown himself.
And with stories going around about what each student had done during their year, from young work to sexual health marketing, the room hummed with happy people. There were stories of people going on to gain employment, places in University, volunteering in South Africa and more!
The day ended with lots of smily people going home to celebrate in their groups and v going home feeling proud and very happy
If you want to find out more about vtalent year, click here!
To see photos from the event, click here!
And to watch a video of some vtalent year volunteers, click below!
Congrats to all who graduated and for making it such a special day.