Youth Voice member discusses why Speaking Up For Change is vital for young people

February 15, 2019

Youth Voice member Kyle shares his experience of Youth Voice and discusses why having active opportunities to speak up for change is important to him! 

“Hi my name is Kyle. We often think being homeless is the end. The end of it all. Our lives, relationships, career opportunities etc.

We often think we are out of all options. We think nobody cares for us. We feel alone and don’t necessarily know what to do or even if we should be here. I came to St Basils in 2014 just after my 19th birthday. Before St Basils I had no idea people of my age were homeless.

No idea!

With the stigma attached to homelessness, when I became homeless I didn’t want to speak about it. None of my college friends were homeless. I was the only one. I was alone or so I thought. Within 2 weeks of being homeless with St Basils I was given the opportunity to get my fire safety level 1 and First Aid level 2.

Since then I have been a part of The National Youth Voice and Youth Homeless Parliament. Both opportunities have created an environment young people can go and be their self. With no facade, no masks, no mirrors just like minded people coming together to make a difference to positively impact the lives of their peers.

It’s created a network, a community, a family we can rely on. I have spoken to the board of directors at the NHS presenting the St Basils GP Charter. A Charter made by young people for young people, including things like; smoking cessation, health and well being. It has been amazing.

When I think of all St Basils has done for me and the impact everyone has had on me (Tamzin, Yasmin, Jean) and everyone here, I wonder where I would be without the input of St Basils Youth Voice in my life. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I was just breathing. I didn’t start living until I started engaging. They have given me skills not just for the now but for life. I now know how to organise events, run meetings, public speak, all skills that I use now.

As young people we need a voice. We need to speak. We need a space with like minded people who we can relate with. We need that environment. I have no idea what I would be doing if I wasn’t involved. Strange to say but I thank god I was homeless. Now I know what I’m going to do with my life.

I can assure you once you get involved it is just the beginning. There’s bigger things to come!”