To round off the week, Friday was another early morning, but I didn’t really mind it, as I had sort of got use to the fact that I wasn’t going to get any lie ins at all! This was the day when I was taking a workshop on campaigning with the Youth Media Agency (which is incidentally my second job) at the Get Up, Stand Up conference in Tottenham which was a creative response to the London riots that happened in August 2011. It seemed like it was important as the general consensus is that we cannot reach the rioters through the traditional route of youth clubs and education because they have just become disillusioned with the whole system and maybe a more innovative approach is needed. Although I personally don’t think their approach was so sophisticated as rage against the system and more like “how many pairs of shoes can I stuff into my jogging bottoms…well I don’t know until I try!”
But my cynical views aside, I was interested to learn the different approaches that there were to tackling the problem. There was everything from inspiring people through African native music and rap to an alternative theatre drama project. To be honest, it was not what I was expecting. I thought that it was going to be a celebration of what young people in the area are doing in order to rejuvenate the already tarnished image of them, but it was just a list of speakers and PowerPoint presentations going on about best practice – not really living up to the title is it? And I know the reason why….the admission price was £20! How can you expect organisations to pay that amount of money for each person to come to an event to promote them, most projects can’t afford that amount of money! Which meant that what should have been a packed out auditorium was actually just a sparsely attended gathering which sort of ruined the atmosphere a bit. Lunch was good though, I guess…
Well after a dismal morning, we got onto the workshop and for the first time I felt sort of nervous. I mean I have done presentations before, but this was the first time that I was leading something that I was supposedly an expert in (that is what my boss said anyway!) and so it added just a little more pressure. We were just going through the basics of campaigning; so the basic questions you ask before you start a campaign, the research you do to find who you are targeting and then finally how you are going to carry out and what is your main message. Then we had a quick look at a campaign that I had put together for the Children’s Commissioner about changing the negative perception of young people in the media and so quite relevant to the conference. All the participants enjoyed the crash course and then we created a campaign in 30 minutes (usually the process takes about 3 months) which was pretty awesome. Unfortunately, I can’t share any of the ideas on here because they are not ready for release and we don’t want anyone stealing them (I am not joking, people do!) but safe to say that the afternoon was a great success.
So after a week of gallivanting what did I learn? That no lie-ins make man very tired indeed. That is a given though. I guess the other thing I learnt is that you have to make the most of the holidays that you get especially when you are young, otherwise stuff gets in the way and then you make excuses and then you live with regrets. If a thought pops into your head, write it down and that is the first step to achieving it. People ask me all the time, what is your secret? How can you do so much stuff? Well, sorry to disappoint those of you who thought that there was a magical elixir you take to do it all (you have all been reading too much Harry Potter!) but the fact is that there is no secret. Your mind is a powerful force to stop you doing what you want to do, but use it to your advantage and force yourself to take that extra hour out of your day for you. Someone once told me that unless we stretch ourselves, we can’t see how far we can go, like a rubber band. Absorb that quote. Just make sure you don’t snap! (I take no responsibility for snapping of any kind…)
This is the last of my A Day In The Life blogs for now, I hope you enjoyed them! (WOOP!)