Welcoming Millie our Youth Commissioner, through the Jack Petchey Internship Programme.

Hi! I am Millie, and I have recently joined Southend YMCA as a Youth Commissioner, through the Jack Petchey Internship Programme.

In 2020, I graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) with a BA in The Study of Religions. During my degree I worked extensively with both the university and the Student’s Union in varying positions. These ranged from working as an Events Coordinator, to being a senior facilitator on a ground breaking campaign called ‘Enough is Enough’. The campaign focused on educating SOAS students about the issues surrounding Consent, gender-based violence, sexual assault, and how we can better encourage a consent-based culture.

Most recently, I have worked as a Mental Health and Wellbeing support worker in a local primary school, where I become a qualified Mental Health First Aider. This role was particularly important in the light of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and how it has affected children and young people’s Mental Health.

With previous experiences of community and youth engagement activities in Southend, I was so excited to see this opportunity arise within Southend YMCA. I am passionate about supporting young people, helping them to reach their full potential, and elevating their voices to create an impact both on their lives and within the local community.

Since joining SYMCA at the start of May, I have completed the necessary training needed to prepare me for this role. These ranged from identifying and supporting safeguarding concerns, to understanding how SYMCA runs as an organisation. Additionally, I have joined the ‘Find Your Voice’ (FYV) project, and have enjoyed seeing the amazing work being done towards some truly important issues, such as the R.I.T.E.S Charter.

I have also joined my colleagues in Detached Youth Work, where we have gone out and spoken with young people in Southend. When speaking with the young people, we are asking them about their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic, and what they might be looking forward to with the Summer Holidays fast approaching! Their answers are incredibly important, and will form the basis of the work and projects we will run at SYMCA.

I am excited to join the SYMCA, and contribute to the amazing work they are already doing.



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