As a new decade begins, with new opportunities. For some of us, it's a fresh start that we've waited for.
What better way to start the new decade by writing my #LetterTo2030 which has been started by the amazing IWIll Campaign. What I love about this letter challenge is that instead of writing a new year letter, everyone is thinking bigger than that.
I believe that 2030 is going to the Best Decade Ever! Why am I saying it will be the Best Decade Ever instead of the Best Year Ever? Simple. Our dreams are bigger than that. Our dreams don’t come true over a week, or a month, or even a year, but over the course of a decade.
Although we have seen great change being made over the last 10 years. We still have a long way to go and can't stop now.
Here is my what I want to happen in 2030:
Mental health education in schools
More and more schoolchildren are struggling to cope with their mental health. Amidst rising rates of depression, anxiety and self-harm in children and young people, we need to ensure that every student has the opportunity to learn about positive mental health, resilience and how to recognise when others are struggling.
Good mental health is fundamental to be able to thrive in life. If we’re not tackling mental health problems early, then we risk failing the next generation right at the start of their lives.
Rather than fixing broken at adults we need to build stronger children.
Youth Social Action Embedded into Curriculum
In a world where every young person is connected to an online digital community of some sort. We need to encourage more young people to get out and make an impact in their community.
With busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering can be enormous. Volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for you, the volunteer.
The right match can help you to find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career whilst giving to others can also help protect your mental and physical health.
By embedding Youth Social Action into the curriculum, you're not only helping your students learn valuable life skills but you're also connecting your school to its community make your home town a better place to live and work.
Youth Voice at every table
I often see young people being defined as the 'future generations' but I believe that if we keep referring to young people as the future, then we'll never make the most out of the young peoples potential that we have in front of us.
Age doesn't define you or your ability. We all are the heroes of our own stories that deserve to be heard.
My life was transformed when I had the opportunity to share my voice around a table. This is an experience that every young person deserves to have. Whether it is on a school council, local community group or even worldwide business.
If your council, business or charity works with young people, then my challenge to you is do you have a young person on your board? If not then why? If not now then when?
Volunteer Progression Opportunities
There are thousands of young people across the UK who currently dedicate their time to volunteering to help others.
But as young people get older, and progress to college and university, we have to stop looking at them as being 'volunteers'. It's unfair if we keep asking these young people to volunteer for us when they could be working a part-time job.
If your organisation is looking to retain young volunteers, then you need to be thinking about what next can you offer your young people? It could be personal development mentoring sessions with a member of staff, free attendance to a workshop or conference you're hosting or even a recommendation or connection to someone in your diary to allow them to get a foot in the door in terms of employment.
There we have it, that's what I'd like to see happen in the Best Decade Ever. But it can only happen if work together and take action for the causes we believe in. Because together we can only do so little, but together we can do so much.