My Act4Change Experience

Jayesh Parmar shares his experience of the time he spent doing Act4Change with CoLab2.

Posted by: Jayesh Parmar | May 31st, 2017

I decided to take part in Act4Change for a variety of reasons. Firstly, young people today have very limited opportunities to make an actual difference in their community and Act4Change provided me with a platform to work with a group of young people to identify a social issue and bring about long-lasting and sustainable change. Furthermore, I also wanted to spend my evenings more productively, improve my teamwork, communication and leadership skills and use the project to support my work towards achieving a Silver Arts Award qualification.

By taking part in Act4Change, I believe my skills have improved in a number of different areas. During the project, I participated in a weekly Youth Show at a local multilingual radio station, EAVA FM 102.5 Leicester. I was involved in debates and discussions about social issues affecting young people, leading interviews with local organisations including The Mighty Creatives and The Spark Arts for Children, updating the listeners about the progress of our project and how they can get involved (e.g. by encouraging them to complete our online survey) and promoting the CoLab2 sports and employability programme which is part of the legacy of the project. Furthermore, I also held meetings regularly with my core group to review the progress of the project and to plan our next steps as well as performing a spoken word on illegal drugs during the Act4Change celebration event, all of which has enhanced my confidence and communication skills massively. I also played a lead role in producing the hard and digital copies of our illegal drugs survey, which strengthened my IT, planning, and organisational skills.

Following the completion of the project, I hope to use all of the skills I have gained to return to employment. In addition, I will continue to take part in and on occasion, host, the Youth Show on EAVA FM 102.5, which will involve encouraging listeners to view and share our documentary as well as talking about the CoLab2 sports and employability programme to raise public awareness of the work we are doing in the communities of Leicester.

I believe I have connected with the community strongly during this project. On EAVA FM 102.5, we were able to reach out to a wide audience of young listeners and get 30 young people to complete our illegal drugs survey; I had the opportunity to work with four professionals from the sports and music industry, all of whom featured in the documentary; I worked with a professional photographer and 3 other young people to plan and create our short film and there are currently 10+ young people involved in the sports and employability programme.

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