Influencing Change within the Education and Cultural Sector…

By Louise Kay, Changemakers

Children growing up in the UK today face one of the most uncertain futures our country as ever seen. They are living in a world where adults are making monumental decisions on a daily basis that will, without a shadow of doubt, have a huge impact on their future lives. In addition to this, almost a third of UK children live in poverty, funding to essential services is being cut and referrals to mental health services are at an all time high. In summary, it is hard growing up in 2019.

When I saw the TMC advert to work on a project ‘influencing change within the education and cultural sector’, I didn’t hesitate to apply. I was fortunate enough to get accepted onto the project and now, alongside four other ‘Change Makers’ aged 18-25, we are curating a conference which aims to shake things up!

The education and cultural sectors are two bodies working extremely closely with children in the UK. However, we’re asking whether their current practices are fit for purpose or do things need to change to meet the needs and expectations of young people in 2019?

Embarking on this project has been an exciting but challenging experience so far. Meeting for just two hours a week, the five of us ‘Change Makers’ have an awful lot to do in 16 weeks. With the support of TMC staff, we meet for just two hours per week to plan this conference. Our first step was to decide on a name for the event. What would grab peoples’ attention? What would separate our event from the wide range of arts and educational conferences happening throughout the country? What will make people listen?

In addition to this, our tasks seemed endless; deciding who we wanted to present at our conference, how the day schedule would run, who we would invite to the event, how much tickets should be, what we should offer for lunch, could we be more eco-friendly? The list could go on and on… However, as a team, we have started to find out feet, realise our strengths and support each other on this rather daunting journey.

Over the next few weeks our team will blog on our progress leading up to the event, but for now, I am trying to remind myself of the importance of our work and why we are doing this, as well as remembering to stay calm – we can do this!