Co-Hosting Young Londoners Asset Session

 Where to start??

It was around two years ago when I stated my role as a National Ambassador with Clarion, then known as Affinity Sutton, I had little to no idea what to expect. After attending an interview I still knew very little. I met some of the fantastic people I’d be working with over the next year.

We were given the opportunity to decide upon three main priorities regarding our day to day lives as young Clarion residents. The three we chose were Estate management, Youth Voice and Awareness of the LGBTQ Community and Disabled residents. It with these in hand we set to work on our tasks. We had meetings with the heads of departments, we started engaging in community groups and we even got involved in big events, such a Brighton Pride as well as organising and running our own youth event for over nearly 60 young residents.

It was being armed with these skills and experience that lead to me receiving a message from Siobhan asking if I wanted to Co-host an event in London for Trust Youth. I’ll admit, this was little out my comfort zone, put me in front of a 100 karate students I’ll teach but put me in front of strangers with a set topic and there’s no guarantee in not going to stumble over a few words here and there. I was given a script to learn. It did say I could make few changes but it actually suited me to a T, they most really know me by now, they even had some decent jokes.

I was working with Bridget, we had briefly spoken before the event but after we were introduced it was clear that we were more than capable of hosting the event with/to some manner of success. It was during our introduction we met… a young poet from London. It’s true with people now arriving and given their cards and filling out their washing line comments the nerves had defiantly set in.

The time was upon us. Thankfully the introduction was short before we played the videos that showed the aims of the event.  During this time we prepared the introductions for some of the brains behind the Asset Session such as Colin Falconer director of InspireChilli, Victoria Dunn CEO of The Key, Tanesha Johnson also from Clarion Housing’s National Ambassador Programme, and Tokumbo Ajasa-Oluwa CEO of Foyer Federation.  All of which both impressed and inspired me with the stories of work and their fantastic ideas of how youth can be a “asset” to any business if given the trust and opportunity to do so.

As we ran the bingo we couldn’t help but do a little networking ourselves. The aim was to listen out for key words and tick them off until eventually someone will get a full house. What they didn’t know was all the key words were negative words or phrases often associated with youth and it was our intention that no one would win. This was a fantastic idea as it creates a way for the participants to subconsciously realise how much working with youth can really be.

Keeping with that theme it was then time to read out the comments placed on the washing line. These were all comments about the last time they trusted youth #trustyouth.  So many great experiences were shared and it made me very proud to be part one of the generations that aren’t always seen in the best light in many aspects of day to day life.

Yet another example of inspiring youth was from the Benna who performed his poem about the way youth are perceived in today’s world. I felt his words really hit home with everyone there, I was almost speechless when he finished but luckily it was time for us to round up the event with Photos and a pledge from everyone to trust youth more in the future and start using this potential asset to their businesses.

Overall, I felt very proud that they trusted me to co-host the event and simply being a part of this amazing new way of helping today’s youth in finding employment and seizing new opportunities that can change the life or many young people and the businesses they can work with.