Phoebe is our newest Youth Panel member and attended her first meeting on March 25th 2017. On the day, we were launching our new website and were joined by ASC trustees, and special guests, ASC VP's Ed Balls and Colin Firth. Phoebe tells us all about her experience on the day.
My first ASC Youth Panel meeting was an amazing experience. During the meeting I experienced the launch of the panel's new website. It was definitely an overwhelming and humbling experience. When the Youth Panel presented the website, it was clear to me, and all in the audience, how passionate they are about the project, and how much effort they had put in to getting to the final result.
The presentation kick started a very exciting afternoon and was followed by a series of mini interviews, in groups of three, between the young people, trustees of the charity, and special guests, Ed balls and Colin Firth! This not only gave me an opportunity to introduce myself in a more intimate and less daunting setting, but to get to know other members of the Youth Panel. Every few minutes, the teenagers would move from room to room and speak with a different group of adults. The high paced energy in the room, and the fact I had to constantly be on my toes, led me to have a really enjoyable experience and release some nervous energy while I was at it.
In the mini interviews everyone seemed very nice and friendly. Everyone had so much to say and the conversation flowed naturally. In spite of having been there for less than 1 hour, I was already starting to feel a part of the community.
Lunch was spectacular and ever so tasty. I couldn’t believe the extent to which the charity had gone to in terms of planning the event, and I was already beginning to feel like a valued member of the panel. At lunch I was able to socialise more and informally learn about how the members of the panel had gotten involved in the charity. Everyone seemed open and relaxed, which made me feel more comfortable to strike up conversations.
Eventually, we got into the main Youth Panel meeting. Because of the earlier events, I was very relaxed and felt unfazed about sharing my ideas with the group on the first meeting. We sat around a large conference table and when it was our turn to contribute, everyone listened. To a newcomer, it felt like my opinions were valued and mattered.
It truly was an amazing experience, so much so that I felt a bit sad to learn the next meeting wouldn’t be happening until Summer!