Monday, 9 January 2017

Going it Alone

Youth Elements Celebrating 6 years of youth-led Services and Programmes

"Take pride in how far you have come,
and have faith in how far you can go!"
                                                            Christian Larson

It’s really amazing to think that Youth Elements will be celebrating its 6th anniversary next month.
The idea of setting up my own business was scary. I had a choice after my last employment - seek another position or do what was truly in my heart.
I had a vision, I had an idea and eventually I decided to act on it. The journey has been full of ups and downs, tears and laughter, disappointment and delight. However, it’s all been worth it.

I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure to work in partnership with some fantastic organisations across the UK. Over the last two years, I have been working with foyer federations and housing associations to help set up mentoring schemes for young people and adults within their services.
This success has snowballed with the people who have been mentored going on to motivate, support and empower others.

It took me three attempts to gain Big Lottery Funding for our tabloid newspaper, Inspire. You really do learn a lot about yourself when you run your own business. I really believed in having a positive feel-good newspaper and, because of that, I was persistent and determined to get the project funded. We've now been funded twice for the paper.
I love how young adults really are at the forefront of the company. That will always be the unique thing about Youth Elements. Not only are we creating self-employment opportunities for our youth team, we are also instilling them with confidence, motivation, new skills and the self-belief that they can achieve success and turn their ideas into reality.

My highlights have been delivering our youth-led conferences One World All Different. I remember our first one in November 2011, with a youth group from Ireland. Over 75 professionals attended the event. I was nervous and stressed to the max. However, over the years these feelings have settled. Taking a step back, breathing and being kind to myself really helps. This year we will be hosting number 8!

My confidence and self-belief has grown over the years. At first I didn’t dare associate myself with Youth Elements or tell people I set up the company, as I was embarrassed, unsure if I was doing the right thing. I mean I was taking a step into the unknown. Nevertheless, over time and having a supportive network, I am proud of my achievements and success. I still have a lot to learn, really we never stop learning.

There's a lot to look forward to in 2017. We’ve just launched a new website, are hosting a celebratory and lunching event in the spring and are delivering a resilience and motivation programme with funding from Children in Need. I myself am taking part in Clore6 Youth SectorEmerging Leaders  this is a wonderful opportunity for me to develop the skills that will enable me to support even more young people.

Youth Elements has achieved so much but, with your help, we can do even more. Our success has come from building partnerships around the country and so, if you would like to work with us, please get in touch today!

Amina Waldron
Youth Elements

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