15 August 2018
When you think of our country’s future who do you think of? It may sound obvious, but it isn’t our politicians, the upcoming leaders or those making waves in the community. Without a doubt the young people of the UK are our future, yet all too often no one is listening to them!
It seems completely absurd. The older generation is making decisions that will long affect the younger generations whilst the younger generations are desperate to make their voices heard whilst going unnoticed. Of course, this is somewhat of a generalisation but we only have to look at current politics to see it in action.
So, when the new High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Dr Robina Shah, came to meet the UKFast team some months ago, I jumped at the chance to become an ambassador for her term. Robina is striving to give a voice to Greater Manchester’s youth.
Today she began that quest with the launch event of #TeamHighSheriff at the Etihad Stadium. Usually I would be the first port of call to speak at these events, but on this occasion it had to be our apprentices!
This way, the 16-24 year olds that make up the audience have people within their peer group to hear from. So Dan and Jack – two UKFast apprentices – headed over to the event to speak and hold conversation forums with attendees. They did a fantastic job, talking about their apprenticeship journey so far and answering questions from the room.
The whole event centred on young people-led initiatives which is incredibly refreshing to hear.- listening to what young people have to say. Far too often we talk at young people and expect them to be engaged. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Other speakers at the event included: Vice Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester, Paul Griffiths; Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor June Hitchen; Chief Constable Ian Hopkins, and former Manchester City goalkeeper and City in the Community Ambassador, Alex Williams MBE.
The High Sheriff position, whilst an honorary role, theoretically makes the High Sheriff the head of the legal system in the country, and able to open doors to meet our county’s leaders to make our voices heard. It’s fantastic to see Robina putting this energy into building a stronger future for young people.
The theme from the day was clear: communication.
You communicate far more than you ever realise. Without saying a word you can paint a real picture of who you are and what you stand for. The importance of eye contact, a smile and a strong handshake were reiterated by several of the experts throughout the day.
It’s an important thing to remember. No matter what your voice says, you have to embody the whole message.
I’m looking forward to the next Team High Sheriff event in November, to be held here at UKFast Campus. Look out on our social feeds and at #TeamHighSheriff for updates.