In the last 18 months members of the Youth Commission have volunteered for over 2,200 hours and have heard from almost 4,500 young people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight about a range of issues including hate crime, unhealthy relationships, mental health, cyber safety and anti-social behaviour. They provide an important voice on young people’s views directly to the Police and Crime Commissioner.
During Volunteers Week, Sarah Arnold, who has been a member and volunteer with the Youth Commission since December 2017, gives an insight into what it means to volunteer as a Youth Commission member.
“Recently, I’ve been working on the Antisocial Behaviour priority, one of our new priorities for this year, chosen by a vote between the new members we welcomed in December and existing members. It’s the first time that I’ve been able to work on a priority from the beginning, and it was exciting meeting the new members, designing the branding and choosing our merchandise. I’ve enjoyed also working with the team to formulate ideas based on the recommendations from our Big Conversation cards. This year, I’ve been distributing the Big Conversation cards at my school and cadet group, and it has been helpful to see their opinions.
“We’ve also had the chance to learn some new skills this year, and my favourite so far has been making content for our Instagram page (@hantsyc). We also held a Facebook and Instagram “likes” competition to promote our social media. This summer, I hope to get involved in more events that Youth Commission offers, as, so far, other members have attended Scouts sessions, buried a time capsule in Portsmouth (with Michael) and handed out Big Conversation cards at Rock Challenge.
“When I first joined the Youth Commission, I never thought that I’d have the opportunity to be able to make a change in my local area. A year and a half (and dozens of Michael’s magic tricks) later, I’ve presented at our Conference in front of important organisations and charities in Hampshire that have the power to implement our recommendations. Having the chance to do this is what I enjoy most about Youth Commission, it’s amazing feeling like you’ve made a difference.
“Last week, some of our members went to the Cabinet Office in Westminster to take part in a government taskforce on period poverty, showing how much influence the Youth Commission has. I can’t wait for our Conference this year!”
Find out about the Independent Custody Visitors, who are also volunteers.