From the Youth Panel first forming in September 2015, things have begun to kick off. The Youth Panel, consisting of 15 young individuals have met six times in the last year at Tonic Insight Offices in London. From the first few initial meeting, the youth panel was introduced to Lucy Hayes (Charity representative) and Seyi Matthews (Creative at Tonic Insight) to establish the role of the Youth Panel, and to help create their vision. The Youth Panel vision is:
“To create a society where having a stammer isn’t a barrier to success for young people.” ASC Youth Panel
At first, only male members had applied and were recruited for the youth panel. All members thought it was in the best interest to recruit female members to better the panel and make stronger connections. In January 2016, the launch for recruiting young women to join the youth panel begun. As a result, three female members had joined the panel which was great!
Throughout the past year, the panel have developed skills in research and problem solving to tackle any barriers that may oppose them. The panel have also created a short facts video and are applying the finishing touches to their very own website with the help of Seyi. The panel’s social media has taken off on Instagram and Twitter by posting photos and tweeting about meetings and events. The panel have been fortunate to have a guest speaker at one of their meetings with Dr Cameron Raynes from the University of South Australia coming up to talk about his experiences with having a stammer.
The Youth Panel will be campaigning in schools to help children who stammer. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of stammering in schools, and educate teachers and pupils on how stammering can affect a young person’s school experience. All panel members have encountered previous experiences with dealing with their stammer and how it effects their lives throughout school. Thus, making the panel a strong group of young people to help and give advice to those going through the transitional points through education and into the world of work.
A lot has happened in a year, all of which has been very productive and has pushed the panel closer to achieving their vision. The panel are growing stronger and will continue to grow and accomplish their aim to raise of awareness of stammering.