Hi, I’m Josh. I’m from The Garage Youth Forum. I have been part of the Youth Forum for around three years and I have had so many different experiences and opportunities come from it.
For example, when I started I loved music and I really wanted to do something to do with it. The Youth Forum was a massive help with me getting into live music.
When I started I knew I liked technology, so I started off with the lighting aspect of the event. Instead of being taught by an adult teacher, I was taught by a guy who was around 17 at the time and it was great. He helped me learn how to program lights, how to do effects for the lights and how to set them up safely. The lighting really opens up the opportunity to be creative. It was fantastic to be able to design a whole stage with no adults telling us that we cannot do it.
The Youth Forum also helps out the rest of The Garage by feeding back to Adam Taylor, the executive director, which theatre shows look good and which ones should be put on in the theatre.
In the Youth Forum we have two supervisors – Yax and James. They are great as if there is ever a problem we know we can go to them. They also let us organise everything and they are there to help out. They don’t tell us what to do, they just guide us in the correct direction.
Being at the Youth Forum has helped open up so many opportunities for myself and my friends. For example, I have been able to talk to one of the people who organises events for the young people. Recently she told me about this opportunity that has opened up at the National Theatre in London, which is one of the biggest theatres in the country. Amazingly, I have managed to get a place on it.
I have also been able to go on BBC Radio Norfolk, which is amazing as not many people get to say they have been on the radio more than once. On the radio we spoke about recruiting new members for the Youth Forum, what we do and we also mentioned our next event which is in October.
This was all organised by us. Like I have said before, there was no adult telling us what to say or do. We decided what we wanted to talk about between us. From going on the radio I managed to talk to one of the people who work there and I have got myself a volunteering job at the BBC every Wednesday. This will open up many more opportunities for me to get a job in what I want to pursue.
For the last event we held, called Plug In, I was the project manager. This means instead of an adult being the person to go to for advice and telling people what to do, people came to me to find out what needed to be done. I had a say in what acts are performing, whether the stage layout and colours of the lights are nice. I also helped design the flyers and I was the main person who was organising the entire event. This is a great thing to put on my CV as it will help me with jobs I wouldn’t be able to get if I didn’t project manage this event.
On the night I got so busy with people asking me what to do and where to go. I also had my own job which changed from lighting to sound-engineering. I now have someone who I need to teach just like I got taught. He is 12-years-old and I am 16. Thanks to to my friend teaching me, I am able to teach him everything I know and hopefully in the future he can go on and teach someone when he gets older.
At the Youth Forum we really want to do more events to help the community. We have aspirations to do events outside of The Garage but they exceed our budget. It would be amazing to be able to do some of these events as it would help us grow our contacts in the industry and open up so many more opportunities for us.