Young people deliver their message of a new perspective to the Senedd …
By Tracy Evans, Development Worker, Valley and Vale Community Arts
This Summer we launched a campaign to provide a platform for young adults to come together and be heard. This intrepid group undertook a 4 day walk from Bridgend to the Senedd, Welsh Assembly in Cardiff along the ‘new coastal path’ on 12th– 15th July, supported by our new Art Bus.
Much of the work at Valley and Vale involves work with young people and we are very in touch with the current situation faced by this particular group. Tracy Evans, Project Development Worker, explains the thinking behind the project:
“I have serious concerns when I work with young people in Colleges and Universities. I see them getting into enormous debt sometimes up to £30k and working hard for 3 years with absolutely no guarantee that they will have the job at the end of this. We wanted to create a project that could address this predicament by exploring the situation from a young person’s point of view and then supporting them to share this with their wider communities. This project is called Inner Compass… This project is not a political march to influence politicians, we are not going to the Senedd to complain, we are not going to say what the government is doing wrong, we are going there to promote positive change with a new vision of how we want our lives to be.”
Valley and Vale Community Arts is continuously inspired by the energy and enthusiasm of the young people we work with. Our aim is to help young people to harness this force to create sustainable change and to empower them to be the change they want to see in the world.
“By walking we’re taking action” (Tracy Evans), and the Valleys of South Wales have a history of walking for action. One such inspirational story is the action taken by one woman, Ann Pettit, who by making a decision to walk from Cardiff to Greenham Common to protest about the use of Cruise Missiles, indirectly sparked off a 19 year campaign many years ago. Tracy met with Ann Pettit before the start of our youth walk, to hear her stories and share visions and experiences of action for positive change.
Valley and Vale invited young adults age 18 – 25 to join them on the walk. The walking group was made up of a mix of young people from the Bridgend area, and they all had a fantastic opportunity to learn new creative and social skills, to meet new people, and to share a memorable outdoors and life journey experience.
Come back soon to see the film diary footage of the project, the complete photo gallery, and to hear more about the young people’s stories.