Georgia (College I) is a member of the North Yorkshire Youth Commission, a body which enables young people to support, challenge and inform the work of the North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner. The Commission has identified six priorities in its work:
- Mental health and vulnerable young people
- Hate crime
- Abusive relationships
- Drug and Alcohol Abuse
- Missing young people and exploitation
- Relationships between young people, the police and authorities.
Georgia first became involved with NYYC three years ago, when a leaflet was circulated around her then school. “What interested me in applying was that I wanted to try something different. I also wanted to find out more about safety in my local area and see if it involved any interesting job prospects. (Policing was never an interest of mine!) However, during my time with NYYC, my interests have switched. I now continue as a member because I’m able to provide a voice to young people who often don’t have a voice,” she says.
“NYYC tries to reach as many young people as possible. In my first year there, we gathered research and at Conference we set forth recommendations for change. Over the past two years, we’ve been raising awareness of our key priorities. We created a game for each priority, called a ‘KYMS Game’ (Keep Your Mates Safe Game) which as a team, we deliver to schools, universities, youth clubs and care leaders events.”
Georgia is also part of Talent Unlocked, an organisation run by Leaders Unlocked (an award-winning social enterprise working with young people and under-served groups), which recently began a national project named Policing the Pandemic. As a group, they’ve discussed the key messages, and she is currently editing the questions for the release of the questionnaire. These initiatives are crucial in helping public services intersect with young people.
We asked Georgia whether she’d noticed any difference in her approach since she joined The Mount.
“Definitely. The Mount has further enhanced my skills to help me in NYYC. I feel I’ve grown in confidence since joining The Mount, through the small class sizes, productions, and just being around such supportive people. This inner confidence has given me the strength to believe in my point of view: I can already see how much more I’ve contributed to NYYC because of it. I believe the supportive nature of The Mount has also improved how I go about talking to young people.”
If you could wave a magic wand and change three things about your generation, what would those three things be? And which of those three things would, to you, be the most important?
“If there were three things I could change about my generation, they would be:
1) I would like to improve our relationship with the Police and Authorities, as I feel they don’t understand our generation. We also don’t respect them enough and we don’t realise how much they do to support us.
2) I think there is too much emphasis on Grades. Through NYYC I have met a wide variety of amazing people. They may have attained A* grades or U grades, but their grades do not define them. I believe the amount of stress placed on young people under the existing education system does adversely affect young people. This not only affects mental health, but it can lead to NYYC’s other priorities such as Missing young people + Exploitation, and Drug and Alcohol Abuse.
3) Two years ago, through NYYC I visited Door 84 Youth Club and it was such an eye opener. If i could wave a magic wand, I would ask either for everyone’s problems to be solved, or for people to understand what others are going through. Because sometimes all we need is support, kindness, and empathy. I believe the last one is the most important. There are many things I’d like to do with a magic wand, but to wish rid of peoples problems, and wish kindness are pretty important!
“As you can probably tell, my view from when I first applied to how I now feel about NYYC has changed drastically. The Commission is not what I expected. I’ve learnt a lot from it and, as they say, everything happens for a reason!
“I’m just so happy that I applied. I feel so grateful to have such an amazing opportunity.”