I attended my first meeting with the Big Committee on the 19 April 2019- the day I became a part of the amazing team! Since then I have attended meetings, gardening sessions in partnership with Cultivate Tees Valley and bigger events like Super Car Saturday. I would say it is one of the best opportunities I’ve ever taken! I have learned so much and have already made amazing friends among the group. I first found out about BMBF when they came to my school; I gave them my email and the rest is history. I couldn’t be happier with how everything has turned out! I never thought I would find a group of young people who would share the same hopes and intentions for the borough as myself whilst still being completely different and unique!
The first time I looked at the “Big Plan” I knew I was in the right place for my voice to be heard: not only am I heard but I am encouraged to speak up but there is so much support that allows me to feel confident in what I believe also having the ability to project my ideas and allow others to know my opinions. One of my favourite parts about being an active member of BMBF and the “Big Committee” is that we accept anyone and everyone, I was welcomed straight in with no restrictions and simply warm welcoming arms. As a result of feeling comfortable and able to share my passion for social justice, I have been appointed Head of Equality and Diversity.
I strongly encourage all young people to take a look around and see what the wider community has in store for them- you will never know the amazing opportunities which await you if you don’t open your eyes! Maybe your place is in Bright Minds Big Futures, maybe it is attending your local youth club or volunteering for a club or maybe it could simply be picking up litter and championing care for the environment. There will never be too much or too little that you can do when it comes to doing something to make a difference, something I realized following my own volunteering. I am filled with new-found knowledge and I simply can’t wait to see how I can make a difference and contribute to the borough, as well as be a role model for the young people all around Stockton because even little old me can make a mark big enough to inspire somebody.
Head of Diversity and Equality
I am happy to announce that we are launching our Bight Minds Big Futures (BMBF) blog! Here we can keep the wonderful people of Stockton-on-Tees up to date with all the amazing things we get up to.
I was elected the Chair of The Big Committee in September of 2018, after we took over from Stockton Youth Assembly, and as the chair it is my honour to write our first post.
Over the last few months the entire committee and wider BMBF have been tirelessly working on our “Big Plan”. In simple terms, it is The Big Committee’s “manifesto” of wants and needs that have been brought forward to us by the young people of the Borough. Within it we list the issues facing young people in our area and then exactly how we will go about achieving them and the support we would need from Stockton Council. I am delighted to announce that, after an outstanding presentation to Cabinet, The Big Plan was approved and given fantastic feedback from Stockton Council and council leader Bob Cook directly.
On behalf of the committee I would like to say how much of an honour it was to present to Cabinet and we were grateful for the time dedicated to face the issues effecting young people in the Borough.
If this wasn’t fantastic already, the very next day on Friday, 8 March, five BMBF representatives, including myself, and our coordinator, Jane Webb, traveled to London for the “British Youth Councils: Youth Star Awards” after winning the award for “Best Youth Led Organisation in The North East” and then nominated for the same award on a national scale.
After a long journey and a quick stop to the Harry Potter Store, we arrived at the venue for a quick buffet lunch, and the awards commenced. It was fantastic to see all the amazing projects ran by young people in the UK and all the hard work put into giving young people a voice. When our category was finally announced, we were all on the edge of our seat! The nominations were read out… waiting with anticipation and then… we only went and won! I was so proud of the entire Committee and the wider BMBF team for all the fantastic hard work they do.
So if I do say so, I think March has been an overwhelmingly fantastic month for BMBF and I look forward to many more months of work with them.
The Chair of The Big Committee