Who are these shiny faced youngsters you see to the right? Well, if last weekend is anything to go by, they may will be the future.
The youngsters were part of a group of 17 deaf young people who attended a pilot training weekend, run by the National Deaf Children’s Society, for deaf young people on campaigns and media, the first of its kind. I was there to dispense my hard-earned wisdom on how to campaign effectively and create a campaign plan. The whole weekend was called “Reach for the stars” which was a bit unfortunate for someone of my generation who spent their university years in a sweaty club practicing the dance moves to said S Club 7 classic.
Anyhow, the 17 deaf young people were all fantastic, very clever and quickly grasped the key principles behind both campaigns and media and gave their views on what the National Deaf Children’s Society should be campaigning on. They also got to meet CBBC Newsround presenter, Ricky Boleto (centre, light blue t-shirt, in photo), who came and gave a talk about how he became a journalist and the challenges he faced being deaf in one ear. The youngsters were also inspired by a talk from Nadia Clarke, a young deaf person with cerebral palsy, who’s been campaigning for years and has produced an award winning DVD.
The whole weekend was a useful learning experience to me too: how to (or rather, not to) keep a group of deaf young people interested and engaged in campaigns. But overall, a really enjoyable weekend and hopefully one NDCS will be repeating in the future.