Youth Work Week Ed's Story
I am a second year undergraduate studying BSc Product Design and Engineering (Hons.) at the University of Portsmouth. I categorically would not have had the confidence in myself to follow my passion of design engineering had it not been for the Youth Council. All the skills that the meetings, residentials, interview panels and workshop presentations gave me all contributed to my overall confidence and success at university and enabled me to academically and socially thrive.
The youth council meetings developed my communication, listening, team work, presenting, and public speaking most weeks, which have helped me in day to day student life and to work with peers effectively and responsibly.
However, broader and more developed skills such a time management, organisation and taking responsibility and leadership skills have really enabled me to differentiate between myself and my fellow students. These skills have enabled me to balance university studies and paid work commitments with a subject related, extra-curricular activity; called Formula Student. The University has a FS team of 50 students that make up 'UPRacing', which designs, builds and competes its own race car every year at Silverstone and Barcelona against over 100 international teams. Because of the skills I have developed being part of the Youth Council, I had the maturity, skills and confidence to be executively chosen as the Section Head of 'Frame and Body' for the 2015/16 car, which is a huge responsibility. I am managing 11 students to do their roles on time and to a high standard, in addition to organising sponsorship deals, order materials and parts and communicate with other section heads and members.
The Bracknell Forest Youth Council has had an indisputably positive affect on my character. Transforming me from a timid, shy, immature year 9 to a very happy, confident, social and successful student, goes to show the great work the youth service staff and support of the councillors has on young people and is often more of an effect on young lives than many realise.