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NYCC Youth Voice Conference

On Friday 16th March 2018, the Year 10 student council representatives had the pleasure of attending the NYCC Youth Voice Conference at the Pavilions of Harrogate. The students had an inspirational day learning about current affairs and topical issues; they have come away with some fantastic ideas and we are looking forward to seeing these at Ryedale School.

Here are the reviews of the event from the students themselves:

Freya Maxwell (Year 10 Student Council Member)

Freya Maxwell“The opportunity to attend the NYCC student voice conference in Harrogate was wonderful. The day consisted of 3 different workshops that we got to choose. These were based on the subject of improving the importance of our society and getting children to speak up. There were workshops such as; U.K. Parliament, LGBT, young asylum seekers and song writing. The day also included speeches from talented people including a past pupil from Ryedale School!

The most fascinating part of the day would be the refugee workshop because we heard the views of an actual refugee from Syria. His personal story was intriguing with the fact that he had a disabled daughter which allowed him to get priority in moving into Britain. This opened my eyes to see what some people have to go through and how lucky we are. This has motivated me to make a difference and we can bring our ideas back to the rest of Ryedale School student council so we can spread the word further afield.

The whole experience was entertaining and thought provoking. Now we can use the ideas to start improving out school and pass the word onto other pupils. Thank you to Miss Wallis for organising the trip, I hope the current Year 7’s and Year 8’s get to have the same experience in the following years.”

Sophie Palmer (Year 10 Student Council Member)

Sophie Palmer“I found the refugee workshop the most interesting. I thought this because I learnt the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee. It also gave me a better understanding of how hard it is for people living in countries where there is war and conflict.

When we got to talk to a refugee living in Harrogate it broke my heart to see what he and his family had gone through. Interestingly, I learnt that higher income countries like the UK are accepting a very small percentage of refugees, and the vast majority are going to lower income countries, like Turkey.

This touched me, living in a higher income country only 0.5% of the population are refugees and 0.2% are asylum seeking children. This makes me want to strive towards helping people who are fleeing from war and conflict.”

Chris Moxon (Year 10 Student Council Member)

Chris Moxon“Through the student voice event in Harrogate I was able to learn about the current international refugee crisis, by attending the ‘refugee’ and ‘child asylum seeker’ workshops. One of our workshop leaders was Bini, who had previously worked with unaccompanied minors from abroad.

He has also set up links with schools: something that I think would be a good opportunity at Ryedale School to:

  • Raise awareness
  • Fundraise
  • Reduce stigma and stereotyping

Refugee Awareness Week is in June, so the charities, cultures and communities committee could potentially change attitudes in a traditional, rural school.

Thanks to Miss Wallis for organising the trip.”

Herbert Antcliffe (Year 10 Student Council Member)

Herbert Antcliffe“The 2018 conference was very insightful, it taught us many ways of how the youth can use their ideas to form a better and happier North Yorkshire. It showed us ways we can be involved with groups so we can contribute to this.

The day began with talks by leaders of groups and charities. They gave a presentation about what they do and what we can do, to either get involved, or help them to achieve their goals, by being aware of what they strive to improve.

Then there were three workshops, all addressing issues in North Yorkshire such as the issue of child immigration. This was incredibly interesting. The speaker made us conscious of how our actions as young people and as a school can have a large effect on improving their lives.

Another workshop we attended was addressing the wider issue of refugees. It contained a presentation by a refugee who told us their story and why they were forced to flee to the UK. It was sad to hear everything they were required to sacrifice as well as the struggle they had to endure. But as a result, we can be more conscious and considerate about what they have been through.

To conclude the conference a very inspiring-funny speaker, Lemn Sissay, told us how the youth of today can stand together to strive for change.

It was a successful day and has widened our horizons of just how big our influence can be.”

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