Hey, I’m Amber Powell, I am the current Chair of Oldham’s Youth Council. I began my journey as a youth counsellor because I had just moved into the oldham area and well my mother said so … but as most people say mothers are always right- I heard that I had been successful on a school trip in France (aged 14) and I’ve been on the youth council for almost 5 years now – never looking back. Since becoming an elected member I have done it all …
I’ve been involved in 40 mile hike as a fundraiser, I have been on many residentials, I have given presentations to Full Council, been part of Creative planning and Consultation is when members of an organisation gather information/feedback from members of the public or group on a project or scheme. events as part of campaigning for young peoples mental health ,youth volunteering, votes at 16 and many more matters affecting young people in Oldham and the North West.
I have also led workshops on mental health for young people, I have had once in a lifetime leadership opportunities first as the member of Youth Parliament for Oldham and am now Chair of the Oldham Youth Council in both rolls I feel I have relayed young people’s opinions to the best of my ability taking part in the biggest youth Consultation is when members of an organisation gather information/feedback from members of the public or group on a project or scheme. ‘Make Your Mark’. I have participated in a Holocaust Education Programme that included an international residential in Poland that created memorise that I will never forget. I have undertaken training on Digital Technologies and how to use them safely and being a youth councillor means from an early age I have been involved in Democratic processes such as Youth Council elections. The opportunities I’ve mentioned are just a few of the amazing and life changing experience I have been privileged enough to be apart of.
However above everything and most important to me is I’ve been involved in things that have genuinely changed Oldham’s youth peoples lives for the better. I’ve show adults that didn’t believe in what young people and people who had stereotypes about young people wrong and that is my greatest achievement as Chair.
As the chair of the youth council I’ve been involved in many meetings with politicians and members of the council as well as lead meetings fortnightly for youth councillors and I’d like to think I’ve been a leader the young youth councillors a person they can speak to and ask questions too, my job is about learning people’s strengths even if they cant see them yet and encourage and nurture them to do the best they can (even if it involves a cheesy pep talk every now and again) I like to think I’ve inspired some young people to take an interest in helping other as for me it’s never been about the politics it’s always about improving and helping others. My Chairing year feels like it’s been too short but the next year following in Marouf’s footsteps (current Youth Mayor) with his guidance is an adventure I can’t wait to get started on and finally allowing Sam (Vice-Chair) to have the the opportunities I have had as chair and many more and getting to watch and mentor her is a very exciting time.
So to conclude Youth councils will take over your life in the best possible way, you create a bond with people for life and share amazing memories you literally cry and laugh together and being chair is the most amazing (like I’ve not said it enough) opportunity as I’ve been able to see others start their journey and already seen people blossom and become powerful, well spoken young people .
It’s been an Honour.