Young Reporters a new chapter

At a meeting on 19th February our current Young Reporters and Peer Mentors welcomed the new recruits who will be writing for the coming months and thanked the outgoing Young Reporters for their hard work and interesting articles over the last four months.

India Critten who has been a Young reporter since October 2018 has written topics including energy saving and depression. She told us “Young Reporters has really helped me develop my teamwork and communication skills through our meetings and I completely loved the experience. There’s no pressure at all and it always feels relaxed and chatty. I will definitely be adding this to my CV as I know it will help me with my future aspirations for my career!”

Sophie Read who has come back to support this group and wrote a couple more articles including the definition of Love and about loneliness recently feels she has gained new friends as well as a deeper knowledge and understanding of newspaper report writing. She is now happy to carry on learning new skills through supporting the new members of the Young reporter groups in their development, enjoying the lively discussions that come with most topics.

The first of the next group of Young Reporters to write will be Alex and Chazza/Charlotte. They are planning their first articles to challenge the stereotypes around cheering as a sport and homelessness respectively.

Alex who is 16 years old said “My inspiration to write stems from my love of music, and my admiration towards lyricists. The way then can use words; simple letters jumbled together and create something so meaningful and memorable is truly remarkable, it is a form of escape and allows me to feel I make a difference to our community no matter how big or small that impact may be.”

Chazza/Charlotte aged 17 told us “I desire to use my writing to spread acceptance throughout the community aiming for the people of Grimsby to start to accept the differences of our young individuals moving forward into more 21st century mindsets which will create more understanding of different cultures and may even decrease the crime rate.”

Other Young Reporters due to start writing are :

• Ellie (17) “I would like to inspire other young people to expand on their skills and become more involved and interested in the vast world of reading and writing, whilst also exposing not only young people, but everyone in our society, to the issues facing the younger generation.”

• Rachel (16) who hopes “to break the stereotype of moody and unsociable teenagers that have no interest in anything that isn’t on social media. To show we are intelligent, capable and shouldn’t be dismissed.”

• Charlotte (14) who told us that “I’d like to inspire people to want to make a difference in their own community, and hopefully even further than that. Young people need to be made more aware of the change that they can influence and become a part of.”

The support for the Young Reporters from this group now moves from North East Lincolnshire Council to VANEL including the IGNITE team who support social action projects with young people in the community. It is expected that this will be invisible and the transition will be seamless. We aim for this partnership to be sustainable for the opportunity for young people to be heard through the media. Young Reporters has been giving this opportunity to young people in the area for 7 years already and we are sure this will be the start of the next seven years hearing the fresh perspectives of young people and offering them a chance to be a part of the media now and well into the future. The IGNITE team hope to be a credit to the opportunity they have been given to continue the work developed over the years under the sound leadership of Pippa. The project is being handed over as a strong opportunity for young people to have an influential say weekly and we intend to support young people in a way that continues this valuable project.

If you are interested in becoming a future Young Reporter or you know someone who would please contact Jenny at VANEL email jenny@vanel.org.uk 01472 315437. Otherwise we hope you will enjoy the articles to come from the next team of Young Reporters.

This article first appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph on Tuesday 12th March 2019 as part of the Young Reporters series.

Written by Pippa.