Our new Young People's Champion on her vision and how to get involved
- Credit: Sophie Skyring
More than 20pc of Norfolk and Norwich’s population is made up of young people. Sophie Skyring has recently joined us as our new Young People’s Champion. Here she explains what the role is about and how you can get involved.
My role will be to report on the issues impacting young people, whether those issues are big or small, I will aim to give more of a voice to the region's young people in our newspapers and websites.
I hope to talk about challenges you face, the subjects you care about and I promise to shine a light on the young people making a difference and inspiring others in our communities.
I am a local girl and I grew up on a council estate in NR5, in Norwich. I had a really great and positive childhood in Norfolk.
I have always enjoyed the opportunity to be an advocate for young people. And in my previous roles I have always aimed to be relatable and consider the more nuanced and individual experiences that highlight issues for young people today."
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Growing up in the outskirts of the city centre I was fortunate enough to receive funding which allowed me to be involved in a lot of projects all across Norfolk that enabled me to appear in the news, it was very exciting and gave me a sense of empowerment and self-worth.
I hope to help spark this same feeling in the people I am lucky enough to write about, supporting them to create and share content to provoke the change and understanding they wish to see within our communities."
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- 5 Family piano shop founded in 1887 is leaving the city
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- 8 Power still out in parts of Norwich city centre six hours later
- 9 Power cut hits Norwich city centre
- 10 What might happen to former Debenhams store in city centre?
In Norwich we are fortunate that our young people have so much to say and I am overjoyed to be able to give them a platform.
Young people today encounter many challenges particularly in the suburbs of a city where money and opportunities aren’t always readily available.
Particularly during the uncertainties that we have been presented with due to a pandemic young people have struggled with boredom, isolation and achieving their aspirations in a world unlike anyone has encountered before.
Young people care deeply about their prospects and making their mark. From the work I have done with them I know that making and maintaining friends and a sense of self-worth has become a massive issue in a world of smart-phone, social media, and materialism."
So much is online and instantaneous that a young person may feel their worth is unjustly measured by unobtainable goals, where gratification is short lived and measured only by likes or subscribers.
In this role I will use social media as a tool and a platform to shout about the things that our young people want and need our communities to hear about, sparking conversations whenever we can.
Role models like Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg have inspired young people far and wide and proven that they do care about their community and big ‘grown-up’ topics like politics, gender-equality and climate change.
I believe by giving young people a bigger platform, they could change our local community for the better. And that is what we plan to do with this role.
I am interested to cover all topics such as job opportunities, mental health, the environment, sexuality, gender, young careers, housing, school/college/university, body image, self-esteem and everything in between. I am looking forward to the regions young people approaching me for topical discussions and the sharing of ideas.
I want to connect with young people from our communities, if you think you have a story to tell, an issue you think needs to be talked about or you are interested in writing some content yourself, please get in touch with me, I am more than happy to listen to you.
If you have a story to tell or would be interested in having your voice heard in the paper, please contact Sophie Skyring via firstname.lastname@example.org