Everyone's out of the office today…. It's very quiet with just me and Collette here!
After receiving an award for coming second in the Best Project With Lasting Impact Award as part of the national Young Advisors awards Seyi Akiwowo from Waltham Forest has written an article on the work of Waltham Forest Young Advisors, and her aspirations for the team in the future.
From mental health work in schools to the Olympics, Waltham Forest are making a difference in all walks of life. Young Advisors would like to congratulate them on their award and thank them for all their hard work!
Seyi commented on the award: "I was really grateful that our team was recognised with a national award. We have dedicated our time and have worked tirelessly to improve services for our fellow peers and local community."
The paper Seyi has written for has a circulation of over 96,000 in Waltham Forest so we hope many more will be impressed with the team's great work!
Last month myself along with five other Young Advisors from Waltham Forest, celebrated receiving a National Young Advisors Award at our residential AGM held in Derbyshire. I was really grateful that our team was recognised with a national award. We have dedicated our time and have worked tirelessly to improve services for our fellow peers and local community.
We came second in the category ‘Best Project with Lasting Impact’. For this project we investigated how young people across the borough use and perceive emotional health services. The project is designed to destigmatise mental health problems, promote good mental health and consult with young people on services they would like to see.
Commissioned by the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Team, our recommendations included: the development of extracurricular classes for schools, better signposting, more awareness about mental health services, and training for peer mentors. We are also looking to develop a potential mental health 'Awareness Month' targeted at young people. To read more about this, you can go to the Facebook page
Leaving Derbyshire with our award, I felt inspired and encouraged to work even harder in Waltham Forest. I am wearing my Young Advisor Badge with pride and I hope we come first next year.
I joined the Waltham Forest Young Advisors in 2009. Our voices (ranging in age from 13 to 21) are heard and make a difference on important projects. We have been involved with the planning of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games with LOCOG. Furthermore, we have sat on national advisory bodies and even advised former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears.
I recently graduated from the London School of Economics (LSE), where I studied for a BSc in Social Policy. With more time on my hands I would like to become more involved with the development of mentoring, education and outreach projects and also help parents to become more involved in their child’s education.I would like to work in the area of research and youth policy, in London or in Brussels. In line with this, I have successfully secured an internship with Shadow Education Minister, Sharon Hodgson, MP.
We will shortly be recruiting for more Young Advisors to join our team. We are looking for young people who have a combination of different skills and expertise. It is so easy to complain about the lack of services or opportunities for young people but I always say – get involved, find out what’s available and how you can do something to improve the area. There are a lot of inspiring young people in London who are making a positive difference. Initiatives like the Spirit of London Awards that recognise and celebrate young people’s achievements are important. I already know who will be nominating for a Spirit of London Award.