The Chair's Blog - December 2018

January 1, 2019

Hi, my name is Zara and welcome to December’s Chair’s blog. What did you think of November's blog post? Yay or nay? Let us know via our social media pages or drop us an email at, we’d love to hear your thoughts!


I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas, a happy holiday and a well-earned break!


'Real Knives, Real Lives' Campaign update

Well, it’s been an exciting month! Charlotte and I had the pleasure of presenting our ‘Real Knives, Real Lives’ campaign and our short film (with the support of YOW members), in partnership with Fixers, at the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) Youth Summit. We informed young people, youth workers, police and partners about our campaign and the work we’ve been doing and also premiered our film at the Summit. We were so overwhelmed with the reaction after the premiere of the film, you could hear a pin drop in the room which was followed by a massive round of applause!

YOW members with PCC David Jamieson at his Youth Summit


It gets better! Our short film was also picked up by the Express and Star, the Willenhall Chronicle, Birmingham Live and West Midlands Police and Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North, mentioned it in Parliament! How crazy is that? I also wrote an article about our campaign for the British Youth Council (BYC) on behalf of YOW.


Youth of Walsall in the Walsall edition of Chronicle Week


We had a lovely time at our annual Christmas party where we gorged on pizza, chocolates and snacks and played ‘Heads Up’ (my team lost… not that I’m bitter about it). We were also joined by some familiar faces – the YOW Christmas party brings some of our old members back to where it all began for them. A brilliant party to round off a brilliant year!


Youth of Walsall members (past and present) at the annual Christmas party


2018 reflections


Wow, how fast time flies! In 2018, we developed our ‘Real Knives, Real Lives’ campaign, we have been successful in receiving funding from the Office of the PCC, we have presented our campaign at various events and meetings, picked up some brilliant new members along the way, organised and run our knife awareness workshops, attended the annual debate at the House of Commons, attended BYC conventions, attended and presented at the PCC’s Youth Summit, had lots of laughs and stressed over how we were ever going to do this campaign. But we’ve done it, we’ve made it to the end of the year and look how far we’ve come!


None of this would have been possible without the brilliant work of our youth workers, Paul, Mike and Jess, PC Simon Bradley and Walsall Police Partnerships Team, the PCC’s Office, the Active Citizen’s Fund, Ray Douglas, Fixers, Alison Cope, the Brindley Family and, last but not least, our amazing YOW members: Charlotte, Joe, Asad, Ibby, Renee, Mariam, Huraiz, Zayaan, Harvind, Kamran, Jade, Sophie, Chloe, Lydia, Hithik, Vanti, Iqra, Remy, Sameera, Hadeeqah, Miray, Ammaarah, Charlie and Vicdeep for their hard work, dedication and brilliant ideas! Phew, I think that’s everyone, apologies if I’ve missed anyone!



What’s coming up in January 2019?

We will be launching our art competition and running our art workshops which we’re really excited about! And we’re going to continue, as always, to campaign on behalf of young people on the issues that matter to them.


That brings me to the end of December's blog post, what a year 2018 has been! As always, if you’ve got any questions or comments, feel free to drop us an email at or message us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat.


Rest and recuperate because we’ve got a busy year ahead of us. Our mission to put YOW on the map continues!


Join me again in my next blog post in January 2019 – But for now, I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.


See you on the other side!


Thanks for reading,