Balshen Izzet, Chief Executive of Action for Stammering Children
Action for Stammering Children (ASC) is delighted to announce the new members of its first Youth Panel.
The Board of Trustees of ASC recognise that children and young people have a right to participate in decisions that affect them. We therefore want to ensure that the views and voices of young people are at the heart of ASC’s development.
We advertised the opportunity for young people between 13-21 years old to apply to become a member of the Youth Panel and received a fantastic response, with applications from a mixed age group from across the UK, including from Wales and the Isle of Wight. The applications were however mainly from boys, which highlights the statistics that more boys than girls have a stammer. We hope the Panel will now focus on getting more young girls who stammer engaged so we can have a Panel that represents everyone, of all genders, races and backgrounds across the UK.
The candidates gave passionate accounts of their personal experiences of stammering. They see the Youth Panel as a platform for them to change perceptions. They submitted ideas such as campaigning for teachers to be better informed about stammering as well as ideas on how to inform their peers about the difficulties that come with having a stammer. There were many innovative and exciting suggestions, all of which the Board of Trustees will closely consider.
ASC will harness the passion and dedication these young people have to reach out and raise awareness about stammering and inform our growth strategy.
This is an exciting moment for ASC. Children and young people’s welfare has always been at the heart of our work – our focus and our purpose. Now children and young people themselves will start to shape and improve our work, making sure our work is as effective and successful as it possibly can be.
And here we are, our Youth Panel members (in alphabetical order):
Deanietrea, age 13 from London, said: “It will be a great opportunity to meet others.”
James , age 15 from Isle of Wight, said: “The charity Action for Stammering Children has had such a positive impact on my life as a stammerer and I am hugely looking forward to playing a part in helping ASC enable other young stammerers to benefit in the same way that I have.”
Joe, age 15 from Essex, said: “I look forward to working with the rest of the panel and ASC!”
Joel, age 14 from London, said: “I am excited to be part of the Youth Panel because I want to raise awareness for the greater good of people who stammer all around the country.”
Michael, age 16 from North West: “Being on the youth panel is important to me because it means I have a chance to make a difference for stammering people on a national level.”
Sion, age 15 from Wales, said: “I’m really pleased to be on the Youth Panel because I think people who stammer need more attention and other people should be more aware of what having a stammer is like.”
Thomas B, age 14 from London, said: ‘I am excited to be part of the Youth Panel – it’s important to help raise awareness and reach more young people.’
Thomas P, age 16 from West Midlands, said: “I’m delighted to be a panel member for the ASC Youth Panel. It means a lot knowing I can help other children who stammer like me, and make a difference.”
Will, age 16 from Essex, said: “I am delighted to be part of the Youth Panel and look forward to sharing my views and experiences which I hope will be of benefit to those whom are in situations that I have previously found myself in.”
Zain, age 21 from Yorkshire and Humberside, said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to be a member of the Youth Panel for ASC! This can allow me to express my ideas on improving the lives of children and campaigning to raise public awareness to ensure people realise that we do have a voice.”