Volunteer Highlights: Speak Up

Posted by Bhavani Esapathi on 5th February 2018

From picture books and food writing to audiobooks and speech writing – via performance poetry, attempts to appease a grumpy chief and some Rebel Girls – it’s been one heck of a year! None of it would have been possible without our amazing set of volunteers.

With that in mind, we thought we’d keep up our annual tradition of hearing from some of our volunteers’ 2017 highlights and here are some of the stories we thought everyone should hear about!

This is what Steven Chatterton had to say…..

“Highlights of 2017? Once again, The Ministry’s Speechwriting project – Speak Up. It’s currently in its fourth iteration over the last two years and I’ve had the deep privilege of being involved in every one. With our noble leader Keith Jarrett, we work with a group of 10 to 20 13 year olds over a 10 week period, initially helping them find a subject about which they are passionate, something they feel is unjust, something that even makes them angry. We then work with them on confidence and public speaking skills… and boy how they will need those skills, because at the end of the process we walk them into the Houses of Parliament where they stand up and deliver their speeches in the seat of power.

Watching these young people go on their journey of self belief is immensely rewarding. Of course there are always the more confident young people who are eager to speak, but the real success stories are the ones who dread it. The ones who don’t believe they’ll ever be able to do it. The ones who, a week before, decide their speech is rubbish. The ones who, minutes before stepping up, have a meltdown of nerves… and every one of these young people delivers. They master themselves, they stand up and they speak out. And when they sit down they glow with the knowledge that they have done something they didn’t think they could do. And they will have that for the rest of their lives. It is undeniably a significant moment in their young lives and it wouldn’t happen without the Ministry’s good work.”

Do you think you would like to have such an amazing story to share as part of your volunteer experience? Talk to us now!

NEXT PAGE: Young People Speak Up in Parliament