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Youth Advisory Council

Our Youth Advisory Council is a team of young people from across our Ormiston network. This team of passionate young people are at the forefront of #WeWill, attending meetings with staff teams and funders, developing skillsets needed to run a campaign through training sessions, taking the lead in developing content and reporting on project progressions, and ultimately being the voice for thousands of students across the network.

Abigail Cooper

Year 8 – Ormiston Venture Academy

I would like to be #iwill Young Advisor because it gives students a voice so they feel that they have an opinion and…

Alexander Hogg

Year 12 – Birmingham Ormiston Academy

From a young age, I’ve had a massive interest in the performing arts. Since the age of four, I have…

Charis Gardiner

Year 11 – Ormiston Victory Academy

I have always had a passion for social action and making a change and have been more involved…

Ebony Starns

Year 10 – The Gateway Academy

I enjoy participating in multiple sports such as netball and basketball! One of my aspirations is to be able…

Ellie Finbow

Year 10 – Stoke High Ormiston Academy

I wish to pursue this opportunity to be a young advisor to help inspire other students and future generations…

Ese Oduh

Year 10 student – The Gateway Academy

I joined youth social action in order to better myself and my community while learning new things about…

Finley Green

Year 12 – Suffolk One College

I like to listen to and perform music. I have a hydro pool that I enjoy going in. I love spending time with my…

Hollie Weaver

Year 10 – Shrewsbury Colleges Group

I am involved with #WeWill and youth social action because I have a passion to a make positive change…

Joshua Harris

Year 11 – Ormiston Horizon Academy

I know as a young adult in today’s society that people of my age are starting to reject the advice given by adults…

Kevhia Mair

University Student

I was born in the United States. I’m currently studying French and International Politics.I enjoy reading…

Maisie-Kate Robertson

University Student

I’m training to be a musical theatre performer so in my spare time I love watching shows and practicing…

Mollie Speed

Year 12 – Langley School Sixth Form

I have always been passionate about the local community and working alongside charities within the…

Phoebe Hanson

University Student

Phoebe L. Hanson is a climate activist who co-coordinates Mock COP, a youth climate conference engaging…

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Abigail Cooper

Year 8

I would like to be #iwill Young Advisor because it gives students a voice so they feel that they have an opinion and that they are being listened to and understood, which is incredibly important because we are the next generation that will be influencing communities across the country. It would give me an opportunity to give me experience and help me gain more confidence which I can use later in life, for my later years here in Ormiston Venture Academy with things such as being a prefect, senior prefect and head girl opportunities, future college place, and university. This would also help me gain confidence in my student voice and opinions in my college and university life which can support many students in these settings.

I would like to join the impact and outcome group because I would like to make sure that the students have a say in what they would like to do and help them feel that they are safe in our school and the community and there are people that can help them if they need support or help.

Ese Oduh

Year 10

I joined youth social action in order to better myself and my community while learning new things about the people around me. I want to be able to empower those around me by boosting my own self confidence. I enjoy being able to listen to others’ ideas and points of view in areas I’m not knowledgeable in and being able to also use my voice for positive change. I enjoy reading multiple types of books, playing games, and doing sports. On Saturdays I attend theatre/acting classes followed by some swimming and on weekdays I partake in multiple clubs such as karate, netball and rounders. I enjoy participating in group activities but I also enjoy the comfort of my home with family.

” I would like to see people my age be able to gain the confidence to be able to voice their opinions freely and take action to fight what they think is best for their community.”

Phoebe Hanson

University Student

Phoebe L. Hanson is a climate activist who co-coordinates Mock COP, a youth climate conference engaging youth from over 140 countries. Attending COP26, she co-convened a ministerial event on climate education. She has reached thousands of young people, business leaders, and political figures. In her free time, she enjoys exercising and going on walks.
Phoebe co-coordinates Mock COP, a climate conference that engaged over 300 young people from over 140 countries as delegates to negotiate 18 policies from the youth of the world. Phoebe campaigns around these policies with Mock COP, as well as pushing for meaningful youth inclusion in climate decision-making. At COP26, she collaborated with the UK Department for Education, the Italian Government and UNESCO to build ‘Together for Tomorrow’, the first joint event of education and environment ministers to upscale climate teaching and learning, facilitating pledges from 25 countries. Phoebe consults with the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, designing and testing ways to involve young people in their work and improving their funding practices. She also leads the Dais Speakers Agency at youth-led organisation Force of Nature, training and platforming 16-30-year-old changemakers. Phoebe sits as a Trustee of Raleigh International, a youth movement-building charity focused on sustainable development.

“As a Young Advisor, I hope to connect with teachers and students from across the country, understand their experiences and incorporate my own to develop the Ormiston Trust’s organisational strategy.”

Mollie Speed

Year 12 

I have always been passionate about the local community and working alongside charities within the local area, I have recently become part of the Leo’s Club which works alongside the Lions Club in fundraising for worthy causes. This has inspired me to work towards my aspiration of becoming a Human Rights Lawyer either at a local firm or a bigger firm in London as I would love to work in a big city.
One possible change that I would like to see in the future is the further involvement of students within local communities and that students can have their voice heard on a higher level within schools and local communities, allowing them to implement projects that they believe will be beneficial for the other students that they work alongside. I have always been passionate about mental health within schools, especially after the COVID period. I have worked on this throughout my time in leadership roles for OAT and hope that others will have the same passion and carry on this improvement in schools across the county.

“I am involved with the #WeWill and Youth Social Action projects as I have seen the positive impact that they have had on me including improved confidence and help with reaching my aspirations. Seeing the impact that it has had on the students who work on the projects has inspired me to continue to work within these opportunities.”

Alexander Hogg

Year 12

From a young age, I’ve had a massive interest in the performing arts. Since the age of four, I have been training in this field and feel incredibly lucky to be able to further this training full-time as I am studying for a BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre). Outside of my education, composing my own music is a massive hobby of mine. So, perhaps it comes as no surprise that one of my biggest aspirations is to have a show that I have written professionally produced.
I have been involved in Youth Social Action since I was the Secretary for the West Region in the OAT Student Voice. This led me to become more involved in the #WeWill campaigns. Specifically, I was the young person behind the #WeWillPerform campaign and I felt this was a fantastic opportunity to get my immense passion for performing across to more people. I have continued my involvement in youth social action since then as I completed the NCS programme over the Summer. This involved me benefitting my local community by refurbishing a mental health safe space at a local allotment. This was great as it has made me feel like I have had a lasting impact on my community.

I would like to see more respect for creative and practical subjects in education. Often, schools tend to push students towards studying subjects such as science and maths because they are seen as “better” subjects to be qualified in despite subjects like music being proven to stimulate parts of the brain that no other subject can. Without this change, there will be a deficit of people working in creative industries in the future and when this sector contributes so much to our economy this cannot happen.

Abigail Cooper

Year 8 – Ormiston Venture Academy

I would like to be #iwill Young Advisor because it gives students a voice so they feel that they have an opinion and that they are being listened to and understood which is incredibly important because we are the next generation that will be influencing communities across the country. It would give me an opportunity to give me experience and help me gain more confidence which I can use later in life, for my later years here in Ormiston Venture Academy with things such as being a prefect, senior prefect and head girl opportunities, future college place, and university. This would also help me gain confidence in my student voice and opinions into my college and university life which can support many students in the settings.

I would like to join the impact and outcome group because I would like to make sure that the students have a say in what they would like to do and help them feel that they are safe in our school and the community and there are people that can help them if they need support or help.

Beth Cooper

Year 10 – Ormiston Venture Academy

I would like to join Ormiston Trust as a #iWill Young Advisor because I would like to be able to give students a voice for many different areas. I would like to give them support by helping to voice their opinions and imputing a student’s perspective which may make students feel more supported by being represented by other students who have gone through/ are going through similar experiences. Becoming a Young Advisor will also help me increase my confidence when speaking to other people and being able to voice my own opinion as well as others’ opinions more bravely. This will also help me get experience and learn new skills which I can use in my later school years here at Ormiston Venture Academy and also later in my education, such as sixth form/ college and university as well as in later life.

I think that the Youth Social Action is important because it gives people the chance to tell others their opinion and make them feel like they are being heard and listen to. Also, that they make their opinion known and that could then make a difference to how the community or school is for them and other students in the school/area. It also gives people the opportunity to put forward their ideas.

Charis Gardiner

Year 11

I have always had a passion for social action and making a change and have been more involved with OAT since participating in the regional student leadership team for the east region throughout lockdown. I am so honoured to be further involved in OAT and am determined to make a difference, my main focus being equality and diversity. I believe that everyone should get their voice heard and have a chance to thrive in a learning environment. I have learned to make the most of the opportunities I have been given, participating in many councils at my school as well as being the head ambassador for creativity and equality.

I would love to give back to OAT for the many opportunities they have provided, as well as getting more involved in social action as I progress in my education. My hobbies include art and going on walks, as well as some occasional wild swimming!

Ebony Starns

Year 10

I enjoy participating in multiple sports such as netball and basketball! One of my aspirations is to be able to help educate people around the globe on gender inequality. I am also passionate about my studies; I took psychology, business and computer science as my GSCE options since I’m very interested in them.
I got involved in #WeWill because I am very passionate about fighting for gender inequality and women’s rights! I believe it is important to write & speak about inequality to be able to spread awareness and educate the public about this worldwide issue. By understanding the full scope of this problem, people from all around the globe will have the empowerment to take action and fight for equality.

One positive change I would like to see in my future is to continue to develop my confidence and my voice to fight for what I believe in. Alongside this, I would like to help others speak their opinion and to help them feel confident to do so.

Ellie Finbow

Year 10

I wish to pursue this opportunity to be a young advisor to help inspire other students and future generations to get involved in Youth Social Action. Not only do I wish to inspire others to do amazing things; I want to make a difference. I want to be the person who speaks their mind for the betterment of others. I want to be the person who feels confident enough to be able to stand up for what is right, and I believe the Ormiston Young Advisors’ group can help me do this. Not only would a position like this enable me to speak for what is right, it would allow me to make the change I strive to make. Furthermore, although I have gained lots of experience through various opportunities, I would relish this particular one and be hugely grateful.

” Youth Social Action is astronomically important to young people, as we are the ones who must choose to take the first step for change. Whether that being through campaigning for an issue to be solved or to leave an anonymous note about a problem. Us, as students, need to be the people to raise awareness, because if we fail to do this, nothing can be solved for our colleagues. Not only does Social Action allow pupils to voice the current climate in schools, it gives them: opportunities; strength; and courage that they can never un-learn or forget. It gives them skills that they can take to future employers to help them earn their dream job. However, it may even just give them the determination to keep going when times are at their lowest. “

Finley Green

Year 12

I like to listen to and perform music. I have a hydro pool that I enjoy going in. I love spending time with my family and friends. I’ve just got a new bike which I love going out on. I’m currently doing a 50-mile challenge for May and I’ve already cycled 44 miles! I like going out for various activities, such as art, music, and sailing. This is then utilised and acted upon in youth social action meetings – making a difference in current young people’s education.

” I have been involved in some music festivals. I was asked to video a day in my life so other students across the country could get idea of what I need to have a fulfilling life. I have spent time with younger children, showing them my communication device. I would like more awareness of different communication aids and for people to understand how they work. “

Hollie Weaver

Year 10

I am involved with #WeWill and youth social action because I have a passion for making positive change within my local community and helping others. I enjoy listening to people’s views and suggestions and then trying to implement these ideas and make them a reality, helping everyone to feel valued and ensure that their voice is heard. As well as listening to others, I also enjoy sharing my own viewpoints and ideas, assessing past personal experiences and evaluating them, to formulate constructive feedback. This is then utilised and acted upon in youth social action meetings – making a difference in current young people’s education.

” One positive change that I would like to see and help implement in OAT and wider would be more education on inclusion and help people to challenge intolerance in our society. I think we live in quite a judgmental society where people fear to express themselves and feel they must ‘fit in’ and be ‘normal’. However, I think if we taught people about equality and the potential consequences of judgemental behaviour, a safer environment would be created where people could be themselves- creating a new ‘normal’. “

Joshua Harris

Year 11

I know as a young adult in today’s society that people of my age are starting to reject the advice given by adults more and more each day and I believe that the only way to combat this is through advice coming from individuals of the same age. I believe that I would fulfil this role to its fullest. I am incredibly passionate about giving people my age the support they deserve, the support that some people neglect giving to them and the support that is necessary for young adults to rise above the challenges they face so that they can integrate themselves into our inherently scary world. Furthermore, I believe that individuals my age who may lack the confidence to speak up for themselves need someone to advise them and help them realise where their shortcomings may be so that they can learn from their mistakes and thrive. I know that this role is far larger than people could comprehend as those who fulfil it aren’t only helping the individuals they talk to directly, but more macrocosmically, the future generations of students meandering their way through their educational journey.

” I know that we need to take action to help improve the lives of not only the students in our schools, but those in the communities of our schools and to provide opportunities that some unlucky children could never dream of. And, as disheartening as that image is, I know that the impact we create through social action and the opportunities it provides will allow some of those children to expect more, reach higher, and think more of themselves and begin to move in the right direction. This is why social action is not only important to young people, but in fact, a necessity! “

Kevhia Mair

University Student

I was born in the United States. I’m currently studying French and International Politics.I enjoy reading and writing, travelling and seeing live music. My previous social action experience includes, leading a team to create and distribute care packages for local people in need. In group projects I have helped to create and promote a community talk with specialists about mental health, been involved in an advisory project about connecting young people and green spaces in their communities.

Maisie-Kate Robertson

University Student

I’m training to be a musical theatre performer so in my spare time I love watching shows and practicing dancing/singing/acting. I also love walking dogs and do it as my part time job.
At secondary school, I took part in a project where we pitched ideas for change in Birmingham to a panel of judges. Our group made it to the final, and taking part in this project was a valuable experience as it allowed me to hear what other young people in Birmingham are passionate about. I’ve also been a student rep this year at drama school which I’ve really enjoyed as I’ve seen the school implement changes that the students in my year have proposed to the reps. Something I’m really passionate about is bringing more value to the arts within society and using it to boost mental health within communities. I also think the arts should be more accessible to children from disadvantaged backgrounds as it can be such an amazing outlet and help develop so many valuable skills.