In 2008 Young Advisors helped to interview and recruit a Children’s Commissioner for Waltham Forest to champion the views of young people in cabinet, and to make young people aware of their rights. One part of this role was an achievement and recognition campaign which the Young Advisors set up in partnership with the new Children’s Commissioner. Waltham Forest Young Advisors managed to obtain £10k from the Cabinet member for CYP to fund the campaign.
It was named ‘I make a difference’ and consisted of four main stages; advertising, nominations, judging and awards. The advertising of the campaign was through the use of media outlets such as the local newspaper, bus stops, a website and leaflets (which doubled as nomination forms). The design was jointly thought out by the Design team and Young Advisors, and the website was created by the Young Advisors. A short promotional film was created by the YA’s to be played at the beginning of the ceremony to show how young people were making a difference in the borough.
The campaign attracted nominations for over 300 young people in fewer than 4 months. By summer 2009 there were over 350 nominations and the Young Advisors selected a judging panel of community members, councillors, officers and young people to judge the 354 nominations and work out the winners. At the same time, Young Advisors and the Children’s Commissioner began work on organising the awards ceremony at a local football club. The team were able to attract attention from big names, such as Tim Campbell (winner of The Apprentice), and Jim Lawless (well known inspirational speaker). Young Advisors were given lead roles in all aspects of the running and organisation of the event, including one YA hosting the evening.
The awards ceremony took place on September 11th 2009 and was praised by all local political parties, and received media attention from local outlets. BBC and ITV teams were lined up to attend but unfortunately were called to cover the local 9/11 protests. Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Robbins said that “this event has not only highlighted the huge differences that young people are making in Waltham Forest, but it has shown us that young people really are capable of achieving anything”.
For more information or to commission the team, click here.