“My experience so far as a Youth Ambassador (YA) has been nothing but positive. I found out about the Challenge programme as part of the ‘Our Bristol, Our World’ conference, ran by Babbasa’s previous YA’s in mid-October.

The aim of the conference was to give young Bristolians from underrepresented communities the chance to tell the leaders of Bristol about the issues that matter to them, and what they want the future of Bristol to look like.

I was interested in the topics they were looking to discuss, which were ‘Our Needs, Our Aspirations’, ‘Our Culture, Our Politics’, ‘Our Climate, Our Planet’ and ‘Our Health, Our Wellbeing’.

After sitting in on the ‘Our Culture, Our Politics’ panel discussion, there was a networking opportunity. Here is where I learned about the role of a YA, what they do and how they executed such a brilliant event in the first place.

After hearing about the programme I knew this was an opportunity for me to meet like-minded young people, have an impact and make a great change to the city of Bristol. 

I began the Challenge programme as a nervous apprentice, with no real idea of where I wanted to go with the ideas I had. Fast forward to now, and I’m one of four in our Communications team. The other teams are Outreach, Operations and Business Development. 

I have really enjoyed being a part of the Communications team. I have previous experience with Social Media, and writing press releases etc. but it seems that every week, we have been doing or learning something new.

Eddie (Communications Manager, Babbasa) has been extremely supportive of us, and has guided us through what it takes to effectively promote an event to a wide range of audiences. We’re all learning from each other, as we as different strengths and weaknesses. 

We began the programme by mapping out all the tasks we thought needed to be completed by the time of the event. This allowed us to visualise our timeline of work, delegate jobs and discuss our strength and weaknesses as a team.

For example, I consider my strengths to be writing and content creation, whereas Warda thought hers to be public speaking. This helped us to decide which team member would be most suited to each task.

Since then, we have recorded videos of the activity taking place in our weekly sessions and interviewing other Youth Ambassadors. Eddie is looking to show us the basics of video editing within the next few weeks, as we had all identified this as something we wanted to develop. 

We have played as much as we have worked; it’s been a great balance of getting comfortable with the other YA’s as well as stepping out of our comfort zones to produce the event.

Many of us have already done some outreach work, going into schools and business to pitch this opportunity. This has been a massive step for some of us but everyone has done brilliantly, and many who said they wouldn’t have successfully spoken in front of a crowd as part of this programme.

Being a YA has already improved so many of our skills, including confidence, self-esteem, and public speaking and pitching to businesses. 

Working with such a talented group of young people has been a pleasure- we’re all like-minded, dedicated to social change and focused on the task at hand.

The next few weeks will be really exciting, if not a bit crazy, and I am really looking forward to seeing how the event turns out!”