Youth Advisory Board Chair: Abigail Hutchinson

As a writer, I’ve spent my life telling other people’s narratives and trying to create the voice of others. This time I want to use my own.

When I first heard about the Ambassador role, I thought of opportunity and pride for the progression of youth voice in and around Nottingham. I first began attending meetings at my local council when I was just 13 years old and saw first hand the ability of an effective board of young people to create change.

Within this room I believe we have the foundations to create a group that not only creates change but creates a structure that can be institutionalised and maintained by future creatives just like us. In order to do so I believe we need a chair.

Within this manifesto for change we were asked to explain a cause we believe in. As chair my main cause will be to believe in all of you. This is because belief is a key aspect to developing schemes of work in which we can develop and create. As well as the belief in my committee members as chair I would push for the importance and effect of funding within the Arts. This became a primal cause of mine when I became a shadow writer and Arts Awards coordinator for Writing East Midlands. I was able to see the effect of correctly allocated funding as it gave a voice and opportunity to those who wouldn’t otherwise be able to write. Therefore, if I became chair I would use my administrative abilities to work with the group to see if the option of free tickets and access requirements can be considered with every project we undergo.

Furthermore, as chair I would take a very adaptive role and the support I am able to offer the youth board will be determined by what is most useful. To determine this if I was elected I would push for the creation of a terms of reference document where we outline not only what we as a board want to achieve within the year and the responsibilities we have but discusses the role of the chair and how they can best help members of the board on an individual and collaborative level.

Overall, I believe my upbringing in governmental settings and desire for use youth advocacy as well as my personal circumstances in life which mean I have made the recent decision to have a gap year means I’m a perfect candidate for the chair of the UNESCO city of literature youth board.

I believe have both the time and passion to put my all into a role that is quintessentially critical into the developments of Nottinghamshire and UNESCO City of Literature as a facility and creative outlet.

Youth Advisory Board Vice Chair: Nidaa Raoof

My role as Chair of the Youth Advisory Board gives me a great opportunity to use my communication skills and confidence to help other people share their voices. I believe my confidence can echo other people’s voices well and that I can adapt ideas in a way which is practical and still innovative. I want to mirror causes like oppression and climate change through mine and others’ ideas. I believe that these are the two most important causes at the moment, which are both personal and relevant to the group.

I am able to support the rest of the group by providing them with confidence in their own ideas and add to their ideas, in order to get the most out of our goals. I will use my expertise and links from working with various writing groups, organisations and communities to provide the group with a wider outreach. I can encourage the group to begin to work as a close team and ensure everyone’s ideas and interests are shared, in whatever way that makes each individual feel heard. I feel that encouragement and positivity is the key to a solid and successful group; I’d prompt the board to feel confident and resilient with ideas that they have and help to focus our work in a way which reaches our aims in the best possible way.

I feel that I have a lot of experience working with both individuals and teams, and so I am able use my knowledge to bring out the full potential of every member and their ideas. I would inspire all of them to work to their individual goals, group goals and develop as people.

I feel that oppression is something that is personal to everyone in one way or another and every person has the right to speak freely about this. I am a strong believer that oppression is a general term which has many forms such as racism, bullying, animal injustice and sexism. I am a very empathetic person and so feel that I can provide the group with a listening ear, ensure everybody feels heard and give everyone the opportunity to share their opinions.

Climate change is one of the causes that I am extremely passionate about, because it will eventually effect everyone on this planet! I think there are many small ways in which we can make a big difference in the tasks and events we organise. Having an eco-friendly approach to ideas is an important thing, but is often missed out. I can help to lead ideas into a way which will maximise our group’s impact and not compromise the planet.