Wednesday, 19 December 2007

X-Factor Final – The Final Verdict

So who stayed in this Sunday to watch the X-Factor final? Millions of people across the UK tuned in to see who would win the forth series and the 1 million pound record deal that went with it. Being big supporters of young people with talent we here at Talented Young People were very glad to see four young people under the age of 25 vying to become the X-Factor winner.

As you probably already know the Scottish crooner Leon beat off competition from Same Difference and Rhydian to win the contract but not before a cracking final and series before it. What I thought was so great about it was what each contestant brought to the competition.

Many people watch X-Factor for a bit of escapism for every day life or the struggles they are going through. Regardless of whether they won the contest or not I though each contestant had one of the most awesome privileges there is which is to entertain the British public. Regardless of whether or not the people at home liked them or disliked them whether they voted for them or didn’t vote for them they were able to bring that entertainment in to people’s homes. When you perform on a show like that you never know who you may have just inspired which is why I think TV series like this need to be kept.

Now lets talk about what each contestant brought to the show:

Same Difference

It was great to have a bother sister duo so well in the competition. It is great to be able to show young viewers what your family and the support of your family can help you achieve. I think we need more positive family messages like this on our screens. It was also good to Same Difference do so well as it proves nice guys don’t always finish last and being a nice guy can help you win friends, admirers and supporters.


It was great to see how talent can win out in the need of a TV series and you don’t need an outrageous personality or a sad back-story. Some of the world’s greatest achievers have come from some of the hardest upbringings or experiences but we also need people that encourage and motivate people that may have nothing to fight against to succeed in life. So many people live life in relative comfort and it’s these people that could also achieve great things and the ones that need to be pushed as well. I believe Rhydian will get a record deal and have a successful life which proves that if you work and have a talent you will get your rewards regardless of whether or not you win every competition you enter, talent is the eventual winner.


It was great to see a young boy who had a dream and a reason to achieve something winning the competition. He wanted to change his mum’s life who had supported him by herself and I think he has already done that. It was also good to see someone with a talent so humble and that is the way it should be because young people need to be shown how to act and Leon is a great role model for that.

The one thing that show like these do is inspire people with many people vowing after watching the show that they are going to audition next year. The sad thing is that not all of them do. If these three acts hadn’t applied and gone to an audition there lives wouldn’t have been changed. In life it’s not the knowing whether we are good or not so good at something that stops us from achieving. It’s the not knowing which stops us from achieving and affects us for years and years. Don’t live your life not knowing and thinking about what ifs. You need to let talent shine and shows like this provide a great opportunity for that to happen. Shows like this won’t change your destiny they will help you get closer to success. If you go and they say you are not right for the show you then know you need to go and do some work on it or find a new direction for your life and if they say you have a talent and put you through you could have opened the biggest and best door in your life. So either way you are that one step closer to success.

We here at Talented Young People want to know your thoughts on the X-Factor in our discussion topic of the week on the forum. To post your views go to:

Also to coincide with the final of the show we have interviewed top Professional Vocal Coach and session Singer Kim Chandler about how to become a great singer and how to make it in the business. To read the interview go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Sports personality of the Year Award

For sport fans across the UK the BBC’s Sport Personality of the Year show is an institution. The show aired live last Sunday from the Birmingham NEC as part of a bumper weekend of UK sport with Ricky Hatton competing in Las Vegas for a world boxing title.

The two hour show which as well as handing out awards recaps the year in sport did give us an overview of a year which has been an almost but not quite year for British sports. We had the England Rugby team losing in the final of the World Cup, England and Scotland’s football teams just missing out on Euro 2008, Lewis Hamilton finishing as runner up in his first season in Formula 1 and finally Ricky Hatton losing to Floyd Mayweather Jnr on Saturday night in Las Vegas.

Now the UK may only be a small isle but it is a proud nation who can boast of being the home of many sports and many famous sporting triumphs. The last few years however have been littered with underachievement and near misses. On Saturday thousands of British fans of Ricky Hatton had converged on Las Vegas to support Ricky Hatton making it seem like a home away from home for Ricky with his fans drowning out all those supporting his opponent in all the press conferences and during the actual fight itself. The media and the fans had built up to a point where everyone in the UK was convinced he was going to win and it came as a heart crushing blow when he was knocked out in the 10th round.

The British public and the media may criticise every poor performance given by a British team or sportsman but when the chips are down their support and optimism can’t be questioned. So if the lack of support isn’t the reason for failure what is? Or are we actually already overachieving for the size of the UK?

Personally I think the moment we feel we are overachieving is the moment we start going backwards as you should never limit achievement. The people that succeed in sport are the ones who always have something more then want to achieve after every victory and this is how we need to be as a nation, never content to be second best and because of this I am behind the media’s stance of always expecting and demanding more from our sporting stars.

In a year of near misses it was great to see one of the UK’s greatest sporting stars get recognised as Joe Calzaghe took home the main award. Joe has been a boxing world champion for 10 straight years without defeat which is a feat rarely matched in the boxing world. Ricky may have got all the headlines this weekend but it is Joe that deserves the award.

The main award we were excited about though was the award for Young Sports Personality of the Year which went to the very deserving Tom Daley a 13 year old diver based not to far from Talented Young People HQ in Devon. Tom has already won a Gold Medal in the Junior Elite diving Championship and is considered a medal contender for the 2012 Olympic Games. Well done Tom from everyone here at Talented Young People.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 5 December 2007


With less than three weeks to go to Christmas Panto season is upon us. Pantomimes are a Christmas tradition here in the UK the same as mince pies and late night shopping. Pantomimes are put on in nearly every theatre up and down the country with a raft of celebrities appearing in a range of roles and productions, anything from ‘Aladdin’ to ‘Peter Pan.’

As well as being a good way of getting in the festive spirit Pantomimes are a great chance for families to all go and watch some live theatre together. Pantomimes are designed to be fun for all the family and this is the way the shows are produced and promoted. If a kid in the audience laughs, shouts, screams or cries it is seen as acceptable and part of the experience as pantomimes are all about interaction but with many theatre productions during the year this wouldn’t be acceptable so parents can’t always take the young ones with them.

Now I bet your thinking why am I talking about pantomimes in my weekly blog, well the reason is that I think pantomimes are a great a way to get young people interested in the theatre and acting. For many children the first live theatre they will see is a pantomime and in many cases is the only live theatre they will see. The experience of live theatre is a magical experience and the fairytale like stories used in pantomimes can add to this.

Another great thing with pantomimes is that many productions use children from local dancing, acting and singing schools with some even holding open auditions for young cast members. They provide a real chance for young people to get experience in front of packed audiences every night which are very hard to come by. Through a pantomime they can experience the hectic schedules which are the life on stage actors and work in front of the loudest most appreciative crowds that there are.

Say what you want about the cheesy scripts and the awful costumes but I think you can’t beat a bit of good old panto. Those people that criticise pantomimes don’t understand there place in the development of theatre, acting and talented young people. Pantomimes should be an enjoyable time for families to spend together but they can also be the start of many young acting careers across the country and a way to encourage young people to go to more live theatre.

We here at Talented Young People want to know your thoughts about Pantomimes and you can share your views by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Success and Failure

What an incredible week it’s been. Last Friday I attended the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Award on behalf of Talented Young People and was honoured to pick up the award for ‘Most Supportive Individual’ which was presented by the Duchess of Gloucester at the Ironmongers hall a venue in which they have filmed scenes for the popular Harry Potter film franchise. On the flipside it has been one of the worst weeks for our national game here in England that being football or soccer depending on where you come from.

We here at Talented Young People aren’t doing what we are doing to win awards and it isn’t what drives our organisation but it is great to be recognised by such a brilliant well known organisation and to know that their staff, members, volunteers and children they help think we are doing a great job. As well as the awards the event provided a great chance to network with many professionals and volunteers within the NAGC and other organisations set up to help young people which we hope to work with in the near future.

The one thing that amazed me about the awards were the young people who were nominated for awards. The stories of the young people who were up for awards outshone any of the adults that were up for awards and that is the way it should be. Yes it’s great to recognise individuals and organisations that help young people but we are all here for the young people and it is them who we want to see rewarded and acknowledged.

In a week of great highs for Talented Young People it was low point for English Football and the FA as the England national football team failed to qualify for Euro 2008 our first time 1994 that we have failed to qualify for a major tournament.

With the premiership being one of the biggest if not the biggest football league in the world we need a national football team which reflects this. We need the world to know we are a great footballing country and that is only going to happen by getting the results. The better the national team does the more people that will be encouraged to give a football a try and the more money that will be pumped back in to our game.

The lack of a major tournament to attend will also not help the development of an exciting crop of players we have at Under 21 level as to develop in to full first team players they need to get experience at the top level. On top of this after all the money that has been spent on our home ground Wembley we now have no competitive football matches scheduled at home for some time. We now have a brilliant ground but a team which isn’t up to that standard. With the lack of competitive football at the venue it makes me wonder why we paid all that money for it in the first place as not even the re-opening of the venue spurred the country on to greater results.

England played such a big part in the world development of sport by being the founders and creators of many different sports and it is time we got the reputation back not of just being the home of the sport but actually being good at it as well. It’s time once again to be proud and be a great, Great Britain.

We here at Talented Young People want to know your thoughts about the English football setup and you can share your views by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

NAGC Awards

This Friday (23/11) I will be making my way to Ironmongers Hall in London to represent Talented Young People at the NAGC (National Association for Gifted Children) Awards as part of their 40th Birthday Celebrations. We are so proud to be nominated to receive an award at this brilliant event.

After just celebrating our first birthday it is very hard to fathom 40 years but it is a great achievement and milestone for the NAGC. I will be so glad when Talented Young People make it to that milestone. Just think about the difference you can make in 40 years and the difference the NAGC have made.

In a world which is changing by the day for charities and organisations for a charity to exist and thrive over 40 years is an amazing feet. Not only have they seen radical changes in the charity world but radical changes in the educational world which they as an organisation have had to change with. These days a lot of charities and organisations are set up to help with problems or issues in areas where charities and organisations already exist so it is great to be invited to an event for an organisation who have been a frontrunner which was probably set up where there was little or no help or recognition and gone and blazed a trail in that area for others to follow.

The awards are such a good way to mark their 40th Birthday as it really sums up what the NAGC are about recognising, championing and helping young people with gifts and talents. I think their need to be more award ceremonies and recognition for deserving young people and for organisations and individuals who work with young people.

With so many organisations focusing on the small minority of unruly out of control young people and with these young people getting all the news and media attention it’s great to see an organisation which focuses on the many gifted and talented young people of this country. As people need to recognise that some of the so called unruly young people causing trouble are very gifted and talented young people but because they weren’t looked after properly at school and not challenged they fell in to bad ways. Like I have said on many occasions youth work needs to be the prevention business and not the cure if we want to change this world for the better. The achievers need our attention and our help as much as the non achievers if we are going to live in a balanced, fair and just world.

So in closing congratulations to the NAGC and from everyone here at Talented Young People here’s to another 40.

For more information on the NAGC go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Funding and Grants for Charities and Not for Profit organisations

I have been wanting to talk about funding and grants in my blog for many weeks as it is an area that I feel very strongly about and feel that my thoughts need to made public on. This is a long rant so bear with me as I think many of you will agree with what I have to say.

Many Charities and Not for Profit organisations rely on funding and grants from trusts, the lottery, the government and many more funding awarding bodies to carry out their daily activities. Through my years of being involved in charities and Not for Profit organisations I have never experienced a worse or harder time for these organisations to exist in.

Now I come from a media background so every week I purchase a copy of the Guardian on Monday for their media section which is a very well respected section in media circles. In this section they have pages and pages of the latest media jobs. Well that use to be the case as now when I open it up there seems to be more job adverts for Fundraising Managers with salaries of £20,000 - £30,000 than actual jobs that actually require a media background.

Now these organisations are employing these people to be professional application form fillers and to help them win the big grants and awards for their projects. The thing is that every week there seem to be more and more positions but the money that is out there in grants doesn’t seem to be increasing. Granting bodies seem to have followed suit with the amount of professional people working applying for grants by making the application process a lot harder to qualify for many grants.

How is an organisation or a charity that is run solely through volunteers who all have other day jobs ever going to compete with organisations that can employ people on big salaries to apply for these grants and awards? Quite simply they can’t. They can’t phone the organisations awarding the grants as by the time they finish work the offices are closed and then the volunteers have a few hours when they are tired after working all day and whilst looking after a family to try and fill out the forms.

An organisation’s worthiness to receive an award shouldn’t be based on the amount of employees they have or the size of their offices but the actual difference they can make. With many big organisations you would be surprised by how much of the money they make through donations and winning grants goes to paying admin staff, costs, office space and PR campaigns. I would say a good 95% of charities and not for profits can not afford any of that as it would be not financially sensible for them to do so. If you are interested to find out where your money goes to go to the Charity Commission website or Companies House website where you can get annual reports for free or at a small cost for every registered organisation. One thing I would strongly advise is, if you are donating money to an organisation and you are worried where your money is going, to specifically say in writing that you want that money spent on a certain area.

Now I have always been brought up that the right way to set up a charity or not for profit is because there is an area you want to help or change whether that be young people, a disability or a country dealing with poverty and then look for funds to support your organisation. It seems now though that the only way to survive is to look at what grants are out there at the moment and then a tailor an organisation around that award which meets all their criteria.

The Internet has helped smaller organisations a great deal with it now being easier to find out about grants through search engines and to be able to download forms instead of having to do it via the post. However it seems many people are now cashing in on this by offering software packages, CDs and websites which you have to pay to use in order to get the latest information and details on grants. These companies guard this information very closely and try to make sure the only way you can find out about them is by buying their product. I think it is a sad world we live in where the charity and not for profit world have been taken over by companies and the race to make more money. Organisations shouldn’t be forced to pay for information for grants that they are able to apply for.

Now there are many conspiracy theorists out there that believe our hosting of the 2012 Olympics is robbing many organisations of money which I’m not going to comment on either way. All I can say is that we seem to be living in an era where the goalposts are getting changed on a regular basis and grants are getting harder and harder to apply for and to win. It’s like now to become a registered charity you have to have an annual income of £5000 coming in to your charity. To get £5000 many organisations need to apply for grants to get this sort of money but for most grants they expect you to be a registered charity so although they are doing all the things a charity should be they can’t become a registered charity because of their finances so can’t apply for the grant.

Now I am not denying that there are valid reasons why it is so hard to win grants and to become a registered charity as it helps stop a lot of cowboy organisations or dishonest people getting involved but they need to find ways of doing this without penalising the good people and good organisations.

The one thing to remember though if you are an organisation who is currently applying for grants is that they aren’t a long term financial solution to your financial needs and can’t provide you sustainability. Grants are good for one off projects but if you are using them to fund long term projects and the grants are only allowed to be used within a year period then the next year it leaves you with a big financial hole to fill as many granting bodies will only let you apply once or at least have a few years year break before you are allowed to apply again. It is ok to start off your first year with a grant but during that year you need to be thinking of ways you can generate that kind of funding through other means like fundraising events, sponsors etc. which is more sustainable and that you control so that in the second year your financial future is secure.

That brings an end to my rant I hope this has given all of you some food for thought this week.

To get involved in our weekly discussion on this matter go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Talented Young People is one year old!

This week marks the first birthday of Talented Young People. We started with a bang last year on fireworks night and haven’t looked back since. With no government, grant or corporate funding Talented Young people has grown like wildfire thanks to the support of you guys our viewers and our users.

We started off only attracting one hundred people a week to the site but now thanks to support from organisations like the BBC we now receive 2,000 unique viewers a week and in one year have helped close to 50,000 young people get that step closer to their dream.

In a world where the internet has been used for so many unlawful or just unpleasant acts like spreading viruses, spamming your inbox or committing identity fraud I think it is important that we get more websites online that want to help people. At the end of the day you aren’t going to stop people from using the Internet we are never going to win that battle but if we can create more websites that are there to help people we are going to make going on the Internet a safer and more helpful experience. The Internet needs to be used as a tool to educate, motivate and inspire young people.

A vast majority of young people now use the Internet and big corporate companies know this so they are using the Internet to target this important audience. This is another reason why it is so important that there are websites on the Internet, which aren’t driven by corporate greed, and that put young people first and whose sole purpose is to help young people.

The one thing that any website or online entity that is designed to help young people has to remember is that although many young people use and have access to the internet there is a large population of young people that don’t have the internet at home and it is often these that need help and need to be reached the most. Just because the Internet is popular with young people it doesn’t mean always that it is the only way or the right way to help young people.

The one thing though with the Internet that amazes me is the amount of people that have visited who have been helped, inspired or motivated by what they have read. With any website the amount of people hat get in touch with the people who run the website is a very small percentage of the total number of people who visit the site this is why sometimes you never know how many people you have truly helped. I just think that it’s great that at any time of the day and in any part of the globe somebody could be logging on to the website and without me ever knowing could be using the information and the motivational words to achieve their dreams. Whenever I get up in the morning I could have already helped 100 people whilst I was asleep which I think is an amazing thing and the true power of the Internet. Some people are afraid to wont ask people for help and this is why I think the internet is such a great tool as it provides a degree of anonymity for the user to seek help and advice without having to go and ask someone or for those that live in rural areas where it may be a long drive to find an expert to speak to.

I have big hopes for Talented Young People in the next year which have been helped by the change in command at the top with new Prime Minister Gordon Brown. In many of his speeches he has talked about wanting to create a country with young people who have aspirations and that are encouraged to follow their dreams and find their talents. He has also talked about bringing back the old school mottos which I think is a good thing and one day I would love to see our motto “envisage it, believe it, achieve it!” used in schools across the country. It is good to have a prime minister who has the same visions as we do as an organisation. Never has there been a more important or better time for the Talented Young People organisation to exist in.

So here’s to a brilliant first year at and I for one can’t wait to see some of the exciting things we have planned for the new year.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Are young people at risk?

Hey guys

Hope you all had an awesome week. I have a brilliant time down at the YoMo national youth conference. There was so much energy and passion for helping young people during the conference it was unbelievable. On my journey home from the conference I started thinking about this blog that I wanted to share with you.

In this week’s blog I want to talk about a term which I find is banded about very wrongly and that is the term ‘at risk.’ It’s a term which is a buzz word when it comes to young people and working with young people. So today I want to tell you all about what I feel the true meaning of ‘at risk’ is.

The one problem I have with many people is that they only see areas with huge crime levels and social problem as the areas to help. We need to start getting proactive. Youth work needs to be the prevention business not the cure. Just because you live in a nice area now doesn’t mean that it is going to be a nice area in a year’s time.

You never know what is going to happen if you don’t do something to help young people in the area and I want to keep it that way I don’t want to find out what would have happened if I didn’t do something. You know just because a young kid is doing great today and achieving many great things you don’t know what the future is going to hold for them unless you help them.

I hate it when people use the term at-risk for young people when the government says this demographic or kids in these situations are at risk. Every young person is at risk every day in this country if we don’t help them. Just because some young people’s problems are more obvious than others it doesn’t mean they don’t have any or that there problems are less important.

It’s like a few weeks ago I was watching the pride of Britain awards. Anyone catch it? I love that programme as it reminds us all that there are amazing young people doing amazing things all over Britain everyday that we never know bout. But the only way we are going to find these amazing young people or to help young people become amazing is by looking for them and supporting them. There are amazing kids in every city, town and village it’s just up for us to help them and find them.

The youth of today is at risk and it is up to us to make it a safer environment for young people and an environment which gives them the confidence and the motivation to succeed and achieve in life.

To share your views on this blog and to discuss youth work and young people visit our forum topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

YoMo National Youth Conference

This week sees one of the biggest and most important youth conferences in the UK taking place in Chester. The brilliant youth organisation YoMo are putting on the Practical Ideas for Participation event spanning across two days from Trafford Hall.

YoMo have brought together some of the biggest and most important youth organisations to talk, discuss, share and to run workshops. This conference is going to be the first time some of the invited youth organisations and youth workers have ever been in the same room together or talked with each other and I for one can’t wait.

There is so much good work going on by many youth workers and youth organisations across the globe that goes under the radar. This conference is going to be a great chance to find out about the great work going on at the moment and the difference which is being made. The news headlines are unfortunately grabbed by some of the most depressing stories surrounding young people so this is going to be a great chance to re-address the balance. The news would like you to forget about this great work but it is with conferences like this that we can spread the positives and show people the great work that is going on.

Due to their being no one official governing body or network for youth organisations conferences like this are so vital. So many people have so many good ideas or have implemented great programmes which have yielded great results in small areas but with this conference we can share these ideas and recreate their successes in larger areas.

I will be representing Talented Young people at the conference and I can’t wait to share information and news about Talented Young People to a group of people who want to help change the lives of young people and I can’t wait to find out information from other like minded people and organisations.

If you are going to the YoMo Youth Conference I look forward to seeing you there, don’t be scared to come up and say hi. If you aren’t going I look forward to sharing with you all the news, information and ideas which come out of the conference.

For more information on the conference go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack

Over the last 10 years our TV screens have been bombarded by reality TV shows and TV Talent contests. The names of the programmes have changed and the situations the contestants on these shows have changed over the years but the formula has never changed.

Times are changing though as now the guys behind the TV series ‘Big Brother’ have come up with a new concept titled ‘Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack’. The show is due to air in early 2008 instead of the usual yearly celebrity Big Brother series.

This time round they are asking not for the most outrageous young people like they usually have in the regular Big Brother series but instead they are asking for young people with talents and young people with inspiring stories to come on the show.

What the show will entail is still under wraps but this is one of the biggest opportunities given by a reality TV series for young people with talent to get some major prime time TV coverage. I take my hat off to the guys behind this programme as this is just what we need. If you read my blog I wrote about Big Brother on the first week of the last series you will see this is exactly what I was calling for.

People in the past have played around with the Reality / TV Talent show idea in the past like Fame Academy on the BBC but that was first and primarily a talent show with the reality side of it just being a side point. It is completely fresh for a TV programme to focus on the reality side first with a talent element involved. As Endemol have proved with Big Brother that you can get some get incredible ratings and gain national interest through reality TV and if they can use that expose talent to the nation then it should make for a brilliant programme. At the end of the day regardless of the format it is about getting the most people possible tune in on the TV to watch these talented young hopefuls as it is only by getting a lot of people watching that they will have a chance to launch their careers.

It’s going to be brilliant to see a reality TV show which isn’t about people who want to be celebrities and famous just because they were on Big Brother but instead talented people who want to use the Big brother experience to showcase their talents to the world.

If you are aged between 18 and 21 and want to apply go to:

If you want to talk about this show or Talent / Reality TV join in our topic of the week on our forums by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Pride of Britain Awards

Tonight (10/10) sees the annual screening of the ‘Pride of Britain Awards’ on ITV.

The Pride of Britain Awards are my favourite award ceremony of the year. With so many programmes on TV being about celebrity and so many pointless award ceremonies screened each year it is good to have one night year on national TV which recognises the true champions of our country.

Each year there are more and more award ceremonies on our screens especially for music and film which are so unneeded and devalue other established award ceremonies. These days award ceremonies are just seen as ways to get millions of viewers to tune in to the TV, to promote celebrities and to make money through sponsorship. It’s like these award ceremonies are just set up to give celebrities somewhere to go in the evenings and hang out with other celebrities whilst getting their photo in the tabloids.

I’m all for recognising talent and award shows are great ways of doing that but do the whole point of an award is that it is suppose to mean something and be important. The more awards that there are for each industry the less important each award becomes. This is why I’m glad that we only have one big national awards like this a year.

With many award shows looking very staged and in some ways fixed for certain celebrities to win I think the general public are growing weary of awards shows but I hope that this is one they tune in for. One where celebrities aren’t promised awards for turning up or one where organisations are choosing winners because of their own political agenda and not because they deserve to win.

On the show tonight we are going to see people who are more deserving than any Pop star of Film star will ever be win awards that they richly deserve. Tonight is about recognising the people who don’t get the column inches in the newspapers but who are more newsworthy or have done more newsworthy things than actually get in to today’s newspapers.

Tonight is about doing exactly what the title says honouring the pride of Britain. Those people who have battled through adversity we couldn’t even imagine or those than have done heroic things that have truly saved or changed people’s lives. Those people who have truly made a difference to the world and those people that keep my faith in humanity.

It’s about everyday people like you or me doing extraordinary things and showing you what difference one person like you can make to this world.

To share your thoughts on the awards join in our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

American sports in the UK!

Over the next month the UK is going to be invaded by the biggest sporting teams America has to offer. Last weekend NHL (National Hockey League) kicked off their season with the first ever competitive season fixtures ever played in the UK now this month sees the turn of the NFL (National Football League) and the NBA (National Basketball Association) to show the UK audiences what their sports are all about.

We have had American Football, Ice Hockey and Basketball leagues here in the UK for sometime now with many British teams competing but this month is a huge opportunity for the UK based teams and leagues to get the press coverage and publicity they need to really develop the sports in the UK.

In the UK Football, Rugby and Cricket are always going to be the top team sports but hopefully this month will see young people wanting to try their hand at these new sports and you never know we might uncover some untapped talent in the process.

Although existing for years here in the UK these American sports only have a small following compared to the likes of Premiership Football and their US counterparts. Many people that play these sports in the UK actually have to pay for the pleasure of playing and have to clock up miles crisscrossing the country in order to get to games whilst still holding down full time jobs or full time education.

I personally think this is going to be a great thing for the UK as we need to get young people in to sport and the more opportunities there are and the more different are available to them the more likely they are going to be able to find a sport to play which they enjoy.

The big NFL, NHL and NBA games here in the UK all sold out very quickly so it shows you that there is great demand for these sports and a great following of them here in the UK. I know these big American leagues are all planning on making their trips to the UK an annual event which can only be good for these sports in the UK. It’s not going to happen overnight and I don’t think they will get the following that our style of football gets over here but with continued development these sports can become widely played by young people in the UK.

It is just important that we get out of the mindset of thinking of them as American sports and really just think about them as sports the same as any other as I know when people use the word American it can put some people off. Just because they originate from America it doesn’t mean they are not or can’t be global sports.

Hopefully these big organisations can do for American sports in the UK what David Beckham is doing for football (soccer) in America.

Have your say on american sports in our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

University: Are students getting a fair deal?

Many University students here in the UK are this week enjoying Freshers Week or if they are a returning student are starting to make their way back to University for the start of term proper.

The questions that come up a lot in conversation for me when I am out and about talking to people are:

Will I be guaranteed to get a job after I leave University?


Do you I have to go to University to get the job I want or is getting experience in the workplace better than going to University?

It seems that these days schools and colleges are pushing University as the route to go to get a good income in later life and they are pushing it on all students regardless of their aspirations. Now I went to University and am proud of my University education but that doesn’t mean I think that everybody should go well at least go whilst Universities are in their current state.

With tuition fees rising each year to the point now that I look at them and think that if I was thinking about going to university today I just couldn’t afford it. Now I know you can put a price on a good education but when someone is paying for a service they expect the best value for their money something which I think Universities aren’t doing at the moment. The prices have gone up but the amount of graduates finding well paid jobs in their specialist areas hasn’t.

For me personally it took me two years after University to get a job in my specialism and if it hadn’t been for me filling out hundreds of application forms and not giving up I could have quite easily ended up working in an office job all my life. Universities need to do more to connect their students with jobs at the end of their degrees.

Going to University shouldn’t be about getting a grade on a piece of paper it should be about learning and experiencing the skills that you need to work in today’s environment. I personally would like educational establishments to work with people and companies from the industries in which they run courses in. I want them to work in partnership to devise courses and modules that will give students real skills that are applicable to today’s marketplace. I want industries and educational establishments to also work in partnership to offer work experience, work placements and jobs to graduates and under graduates in their educational establishments.

If we don’t want to see a continuing large amount of potential, talent and skills go to waste we need to act now. I think the government need to look at and address this issue. The more skilled people you can get in to the workplace the better this country is going to be. The quicker you can get people in to well paying jobs the quicker they will be able to pay back their student debt and contribute to the economy instead of being a burden to it.

University students don’t want to spend their lives in debt they want to contribute to this society and this economy we as a country and the government now needs to give them the chance to do so.

Universities need to stop being graded on the intellect and the grades of their students and alumni but on the number of their graduates that find skilled work in the areas in which they studied.

When I talk to people who are thinking of going to University I always advise them to speak to people who are in the industry they eventually want to work in first to see how they got in to that industry and if University is the best route. If you have decided University is for you then you need to research courses and University and find out about the modules and find out what past students on that course have gone on to do. Finally once they get to University I always advise them to get as much work experience in their chosen field as possible as with a University Education and a ton of experience you can’t go wrong.

Because of my views and the views of many others on the current University system we here at Talented Young People are petitioning the government to start taking this issue seriously and to do something about it.

You can sign our petition by going to:

Or if you want to discuss this matter and air your opinions join in our topic of the week on Universities:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

High School Musical 2

This Friday (21/9) sees the long awaited UK Premiere of Disney movie High School Musical 2. The film is the follow up to the highly successful High Musical which hit our screens in 2006. The film premiered in America last month but this is going to be the first time people in the UK will be able to watch it as it screened on the Disney Channel.

This new movie franchise has been a runaway success for Disney who originally were just making this film as part of their annual average of ten movies for TV a year they make. Because of this Disney didn’t put a huge promotional budget aside it for to begin with but after it’s first airing a buzz started to generate as by word of mouth and viewer demand it soon become the hottest young peoples film of the year. It was that successful that it was the first time I had ever seen a DVD and soundtrack from a TV movie in the top ten of their respective charts at the same time.

You ask any person below the age of 16 in the UK or America and they have heard of High School Musical with ten’s of millions of youngsters owning the DVD, CD or watching it on TV. It has become a global phenomenon to the point that for the release of the second film they were able to do big movie premiere style events and global publicity tours to promote it, something unheard of for a made for TV movie.

In a time where society, family and young people seem to be going off the rails and a time where I personally question a lot of media content and it’s suitability for young people it is so great to see wholesome family entertainment with good messages and values being seen by so many people.

When I go and work with young people I hear many young people singing along to the High School Musical soundtrack and many people pretending to be either Troy (Zac Efron) or Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) the two main leads in the film. For a film to encourage young people to sing, to act and to come out of their shells I think is an amazing thing which not many films have been able to achieve.

I am yet to see the second film so I can’t say if it is going to be as inspiring and entertaining for young people but I’m sure if it stays true to the High School Musical fan base and to the messages put across in the first film.

This Friday it’s going to be time to learn the lyrics and dance moves to a whole new group of songs after you have now probably worn out your CD for the first movie soundtrack. All I can say is that I hope Disney continue to produce films like this and I want to be the first in line to praise them for what they have created with this franchise.

We here at Talented Young People want to know what you think about the High School Musical films for our topic of the week. So why not go and post your thoughts on what the sequel is going to be like and then log on after it airs to share your views on what it was actually like.

To cast your views go to:

Before I go this week I need to remind you to vote in the Talented Young People Awards for September. The Talented Young People Awards have been set up to recognise incredible young talent and the five names you have to choose between this month are:

Andy Murray - British Tennis star

Keira Knightley - British Actress

Newton Faulkner - British Singer / Songwriter

Theo Walcott - Arsenal and England Football Player

Amy Macdonald - British Singer / Songwriter

To cast your vote go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Women's World Cup

If you are lucky enough to be at home during the day with no school or work to go to this month you could be enjoying the Women’s World Cup. Unlike the men’s world cup it isn’t talked about on every TV or Radio Show or written about in every newspaper but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve the same attention the men’s version of the competition gets.

The lack of press coverage isn’t helped by the fact that the tournament is being held over in China which means the kick off times are during the day so many people who are at school or work can’t watch it live. So this means if you want to watch it you have to get some kind of recording device in order to follow it’s progress.

If I asked many people to name an England ladies football team player many would probably struggle but if I asked them to name a player for the men’s side they would be able to tell me in a heartbeat even if they had never watched a game. In an era where England is not developing many world class athletes or sportspeople who go on to be the top in their sport our ladies has team one of the best female players in the world by the name of Kelly Smith who opened up her world cup account with two goals in her first game.

It’s not just ladies football but many other sports where our country has world class competitors but because these sports may no be popular they don’t get the recognition they deserve.

In the case of football the game is the same game with the same laws regardless of if you are male or female so they should be treated equally. Yes ok it isn’t going to happen over night but I hope as a country and a world we can get behind women’s football and female sports in general. We need to encourage females to succeed in sport and support them when they do.

For all you girls out there that want to get involved in football I say go for it. I know it is annoying that at the moment many female footballers have to have second jobs to pay the bills but can you really put a price on being able to put on your country’s jersey and play in a world cup? That opportunity in itself is immense and should drive young girls o want to achieve in football.

The only way we are going to get the press and media to increase their coverage of the women’s game is by getting out there and supporting it ourselves and by doing this we are going to create a better future for female sports in the UK.

If you have an opinion on women’s sport, how it is perceived or ideas on how to improve its standing then why not get involved in our topic of the week on the forum:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Fame Junkies

Recently I was sat at my local train station and I saw a billboard advert for a book by Ben Elton titled ‘Chart Throb’. The book I believe is a comical / satirical look at reality TV shows like Pop Idol and X-Factor with a fictionalised story based on the people who enter, are involved in or watch these programmes. I am yet to read a copy but after doing some research I have found out that this book has been out for some time but has recently been released in to paperback.

I may one day pick up a copy as it sounds like an interesting book but it wasn’t the story that got me interested in this billboard it was the tag line at the bottom of the billboard which caught my eye which read ‘Fame Junkies’. This got me thinking and the more I thought about it the more I agreed with it. We are now living in a society where it seems that everyone is a fame junkie and wants their five minutes of fame.

People now no longer care about being talented or being good at something they just care about being famous. Programmes like X-Factor, Pop Idol etc give these people the chance to be on TV as it seems that the worse you are at singing the more chance you have of actually getting on TV and in to millions of home across the country.

This attitude and culture over the last few years has now crossed over to the Internet as the internet continues to grow. People can now make videos & MySpace profiles and have millions of people viewing their pages. Unfortunately it’s not always the talented people showing their talents that get millions of views normally the ones that get viewed are the ones that depict people doing things which require no talent.

I’m all for people using websites like Youtube and MySpace to showcase their talents and actively promote it as it is a great way of getting your work to the masses but I just hate it when people who are ‘Fame Junkies’ get more exposure than people with real talents.

This world needs an attitude and a culture change we need to stop being a world of ‘Fame Junkies’ and be a world of ‘Talent Junkies’ who are always striving to be more talented and wanting to show off their talents. As it is only real talent that can guarantee you long-term fame if this is something you chase.

I think this very apt and needs to be said in the wake of the Big Brother final as now these ‘Fame Junkies’ who starred in inverted commas on this show now try and cash in on their fame but I can tell you now that they will be lucky if we remember their names in six months let alone a year.

The only way we are going to change the world and become a better, stronger youth generation is by all taking an active role in becoming ‘Talent Junkies’ as if you control your talent you control your life and the opportunities available to you. If you are a ‘Fame Junkie’ you can’t guarantee that you will find fame as you are relying on other people to give you an opportunity and your fame is in the hands of the public but if you are a ‘Talent Junkie’ you can control your future. We need to start getting addicted to talent and not fame, we need to have the desire to be more talented not more famous.

Let us know your thoughts on this matter by getting involved in our topic of the week on the forum:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

TV Programmes

For many of our readers they will now becoming to the end of the summer holidays which means back to school an all the joys which come with the period just before school starts. Going to get new school uniforms going to get new stationery and all the obligatory things that need to be done before school starts.

This brings the end to the period of watching daytime TV and staying out with your friends until all hours. Now I campaign for young people to make the most of their summer holidays by going out and experiencing new things as well as developing new and existing talents but there are a couple of really good programmes on our TV’s in the UK at the moment. If you are going to watch TV these two programmes are well worth a watch and making a space in your schedule for.

Following on from the launch of our weekly X-Factor blog from our brilliant X-factor Correspondent Katie Greenhill I thought it was time to talk about two other programmes I am liking at the moment.

The first is a series on MTV called MADE. This series has been on TV for some time but if you haven’t seen any of the episodes its well worth a watch. The series in an MTV original series from America. Each programme stars a new young person who has something they want to achieve or something they want to be made in to. Most of these young people are having problems at school or really need help in order to achieve something which can be anything from being a Snowboarder to a Singer.

In each programme the MTV crew are given a month to help get the young person to achieve their dream so they allocate them a coach you has experience in that field and it is then the job of the coach to make sure that the young person is ready to achieve their dream by the end of the month. The show is usually on weekdays at 18.00 on MTV or TMF and is well worth the watch.

The other programme is Cheerleader Nation which is currently being screened on Living2. This series follows a year in the life of the Dunbar Cheerleading squad in Kentucky USA as they compete for their third national title in a row.

Cheerleading is a way of life in America and a huge part of their culture but cheerleading is now growing in popularity in the UK. The programme gives you a new respect for the sport as after watching an episode you will never look at cheerleading in the same light again as the training regime these girls go through is absolutely gruelling. The programme I’m sure will also inspire many young people to take up cheerleading and inspire those already involved in cheerleading to aim even higher.

The series is already 3 – 4 episodes in but you can catch it every Tuesday at 21.00 on Living2.

Look out for some very special exclusive “Cheerleader Nation” content launching soon on the Talented Young People website.

And for this weeks topic of the week on our forums we want to know what you favourite TV programmes are. To cast your opinions go to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Premiership Football

If you’re from the UK you won’t have been able to escape all the hype and news surrounding the start of the new football season. It’s a time when football fans stop going out with the other half shopping on a Saturday and start staying in to listen to the football scores come in then later either staying in for Match of the Day or recording it whilst they are out.

Every year it seems that the hype surrounding the new season increases and this year was no different as more millions were invested in to and spent by Premier League football teams. For ninety minutes each weekend young men who are played multi millions each year are worshipped liked gods by thousands in the stands and millions watching at home. It’s no surprise then when you ask many young boys what they want to be when they grow up they will same a footballer.

The sport has got even more lucrative this year with more foreign owners with big pockets buying in to clubs in all leagues and now with another broadcaster Setanta Sports trying to break the stranglehold that Sky Sports has on Premiership coverage it means the revenues for clubs is even higher. So now I hear you ask: Why am I talking about this in my weekly Talented Young People Blog? Well here’s why.

This extra revenue and income may be good for the clubs and players finances but it increases the levels of stress and pressure put on teams who in the main consist of a high number of young talented players to achieve. The more money an owner puts in to a club the better results they want and the more they pay you as a player the better performances they want.

With the season merely three games old every game is already being held under close scrutiny by the fans, the press and the clubs with any defeat seen as a reason to sell or let go a player or a manager. This is a tough enough situation for the older experienced players to handle but for a fresh faced sixteen year old making their debut this year it’s a different story. No longer does being good count the only thing that counts is the result and based on that no matter how good your performance is it could spell trouble.

It’s not just on the TV stage that talented young footballers are affected. The lure of the money and celebrity lifestyle has put stars in the eyes of many parents and young children who all dream of that life. This has meant that the competition an the pressure to achieve and be the best has filtered it’s way down through the youth game with some big clubs running academies for players as young as eight.

Now I’m not saying young people shouldn’t have dreams as I believe young people if they have the right motivation and support can achieve anything but I’m saying that I don’t like where this high pressure situation is going. There needs to be more support out there for the ones that don’t make it as lives have been torn apart through the dream factory which is football in this country and more support for those that have made it to deal with the pressure they find themselves under because I do fear that sooner or later the pressure is going to become too much for some people.

To have your say on this week’s blog and young Premiership Footballers join in our topic of the week by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

X-Factor: Episode 1 review

We here at Talented Young People are delighted to introduce our newest member to the writing team our official X-Factor correspondent Katie Greenhill. From now until the final Katie will be bringing you all the news on what's hot and what's not in the world of X-Factor. So sit back and enjoy her first X-Factor review.

18th August - The X Factor is BACK!

So Saturday it was the fourth series of The X Factor hit our screens once again. And there were some pretty amazing singers among also the disastrous hoping to make their dream become a reality.

The age category was lowered, and it was 14 year old Emily - who sang Randy Crawford's - Almaz - flying that flag. She had an amazing voice and had the confidence, as Dannii said she was looking all four of them in the eyes when she sang - I think that's a good quality within a singer. Although a lot of people have had doubts about the age being lowered I think she may have proved Simon Cowell's point, they could potentially win. I just think it's a hard age to conquer the music industry and be away from your family.

Zoe Simpson; the girl who sang Christina Aguillera's Beautiful, I can't believe the way she reacted. Fair enough she's young and her dream had just been broken, but her attitude was terrible - I can't get my head around people telling her she was good. She said she had never even studied music! I must admit Dermot did look a bit scared when she started banging her head against the wall!

And what about Nikki? Well she brought a tear to many of people's eye and her story was just so amazing. The way she found an application form in her late father's belongings and in memory of her father entered the competition. The way she sang 'I will always love you' was so touching she really sang from her heart. I think it’s so great to find someone like that on the show. Her voice was just incredible - I really do hope she goes along way, I think she really deserves it.

Then there were the groups! 'Same difference' I must say they can certainly grate on you - I found them quite annoying but sweet in a way but then you have W4 who were amazing singers, I think just by the first show you can tell this year the groups have really improved.

To me I found this week's show very judge orientated what with the lovely Louis Walsh returning. Before he returned it didn't seem that there was any chemistry between them. Not sure how people are feeling about the new Judges/Presenter changes. I personally think now Louis is back, people will not warm to Dannii - because the original three had fantastic chemistry and it will take time for her to merge. I think Fearne is doing amazingly, on Saturday the Xtra factor got it highest ratings ever!

Next week looks great - Sharon Osbourne walking into a door too!"

Katie Greenhill
X-Factor correspondent for Talented Young People
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Exam Results

Over the next two weeks millions of young people up and down the country will be getting their GCSE and A-Level results. Years of hard work finally come down to the opening of an envelope or a line on a results chart. Months of anxious waiting since they sat in that exam hall are about come to an end but the outcomes will be very different for many people.

The first thing you need is a plan and you need to have it ready before you go to collect your results. You need to know what opportunities are available to you for each possible outcome of results day. No matter how much you worry or stress before you get your results you can’t change the results on the papers. After you hand your exam paper in you can’t change the outcomes and any time spent stressing about them is a waste of time and can have a long-term affect on your health. Stressing about your results can only have a negative affect on how you deal with your results and your future after you get your results.

The thing to remember is whatever grade you get on that piece of paper it doesn’t change you as a person you are still the same person before you get your results and after you get your results, that piece of paper doesn’t define you and it isn’t going to change your life it’s what you do with that piece of paper that will. The only time you lose on exam results day is when you don’t do something positive about your results and with your results.

Exam results are just a stepping-stone on your continuing journey. You don’t study to get results you study and work hard to get where you need to go in life, to get that career to get that University placement. If you can achieve these things then your results don’t matter as it is the outcome we are worried about not the steps on the way.

If you have a successful results day celebrate, be proud of yourself and your achievements but don’t let it go to your head as like I say these results are only as good as what you do with them. Use the power of the achievement to achieve even greater things with your life. If you can harness that energy then you can achieve anything.

So if you are reading this before you collect your results remember to do your research and find out what opportunities are available to you for every outcome so regardless of what is written on that results page you have a plan and can not let a second go to waste. If your exam results aren’t what you needed them to be you need to be quick in trying to get in to colleges and Universities as if your grades aren’t what you needed to be and you leave it a while then your chances of getting in are going to be significantly reduced. Universities, Colleges and employers like people who can face up to their failures and take the bull by the horns.

If you are reading this after you have collected your results then what are you waiting for go and research your next move don’t let a second go to waste. The one thing to remember whatever you grades are there are always opportunities and possibilities open to you in order for you to move your life forward and closer to your dream.

Regardless of your results don’t give up. If you give up after one bad grade you are not going to be able to reach your full potential and achieve great things with your life.

If you want to talk about exam grades, how they are affecting you and what the future is going to hold then get involved in our topic of the week:

Good luck to everyone collecting exam results from everyone here at Talented Young People.

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Young and Famous

Over the last few years we have watched as young people have been thrust in to the limelight only to fall off the rails. This is not a new phenomenon but with the intensity of media scrutiny increasing every day the fall from grace of these celebrities has garnered more column inches in newspapers and websites as well as airtime on TV and radio shows than ever before. The main three celebrity names people will be synonymous with are Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton.

With big international conglomerates trying to make the most amount of money possible from its assets which for companies involved in industries like the media, creative arts and sports are its talent it’s no wonder that some young celebrities have fallen off the rails. Young talented people are being forced in to a grown up’s world with none or little preparation for it and if they aren’t surrounded by the right people making the right decisions very few people are going to look after them.

Young actors, actresses, singers etc. need to be looked after better and there needs to be more done for them. Many young and talented people are plucked from small towns and from relative obscurity to be then suddenly be thrust in front of millions of people and in to millions of homes across the world. You can’t expect a young person no matter how mature they are to be able to deal with something like that.

This is why if you dream towards a career which will see you being shoved in to the limelight you need to prepare for or at least be aware of the pitfalls and dangers of the career. You need to make sure that before you embark on your path towards your dreams that you have a support network of family, friends and business partners that you know have your best interests at heart and are not around you just because you are famous. When you have that in place remember to always look after them and treat them the same regardless of if you have ten million fans or just ten.

I believe that we need as many positive young role models in the media, creative arts and sports industries and that although the likes of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton grab the headlines we can’t forget there are many young people out there who have been thrust in to the limelight who have dealt with it brilliantly. It is these people we need to focus on and we need to make sure that there is help and support to catch those people who may come off the rails or systems in place to try and stop them coming off the rails in the first place.

So to sum up if you are pursuing dreams which could potentially see you being in the public eye or situations of wealth and notoriety to remember it is not only your talent that you need to work on you also need to work on your strength of character as it will be this that stops your dream ending prematurely or your dreams not working out as you had planned them. Remember nothing is more important than your physical and mental well-being and if you are ever put in a position where either of these are in danger then you need to re-address the situation. You will always have to deal with people that will try and pressure you in to things like agents, managers, pushy parents etc. but remember with every decision that is made you need to be happy with it, as your happiness is the most important thing.

Push towards your dreams because if you have the ability, the talent and the belief you can go far but just be aware of the sacrifices and pitfalls that wait in your path. We should encourage the youth of today to reach for their dreams as I know there are many young people across the globe who have the potential to do amazing things we just need to make sure there is a safe environment for them to accomplish their dreams and we can’t expect the big international conglomerates of this world to do that as they only primarily care about keeping their shareholders happy.

In a message to the media don’t judge young celebrities as harshly as you do. Yes there will always be some that have made mistakes or bad decisions but they are only young people and young people make mistakes its your help they need not your judgement. If you are going to question anyone question the people around them that let them get to that state in which they find themselves. Spend some time focusing on the young and talented people doing amazing things in this world.

Before I go this week I need to remind you to vote in the Talented Young People Awards for August. The Talented Young People Awards have been set up to recognise incredible young talent and the five names you have to choose between this month are:

Daniel Radcliffe - Actor who plays Harry Potter in the Harry Potter film series

Lewis Hamilton - British Formula 1 Driver

Emma Watson - Actress who plays Hermione Granger in Harry Potter film series

James Morrison - British singer/songwriter

Rupert Grint - Actor who plays Ron Weasley in Harry Potter film series

To cast your vote go to:

And if you have a view point on young celebrities and young people who find fame then why not join in our topic of the week on this subject in our forum by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Floods - Facing Adversity

Over the last few months the UK has been hit by some of the worse flooding it has seen in recent years which has been mirrored in many countries across the globe with many people suffering from the extreme weather conditions. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but no one in the UK could have even imagined the devastation which has happened, especially during a time in which we should be enjoying the highest temperatures of the year.

Many of those affected by the floods all had plans and events happening in their lives, which were rudely interrupted by the unexpected devastation. One day they went to work, school or were maybe even sleeping to come home or to wake to their homes surrounded by water. Then there were those who fled for shelter in centres setup around the country to house those escaping the floods who left their properties not knowing what they would be coming back to with only a few frantically collected possessions with them.

Now it’s incidents like this that can sometimes cruelly change the direction and path of many lives as the knock on affects of the damage refuse to go away. Still weeks on and many people can’t return to their homes, can’t get the money out of their insurance companies to make their homes liveable and those who still remain in their properties still don’t know if the water running through the pipes is drinkable or when it will be.

In these towns and cities that were affected there will have been many young and talented people all working hard pursuing their dreams, all with big plans that have now been taken away by the floods. No longer is there main concern pursuing their dream, they are now only concerned with getting their life back to normality which they don’t know how long it will be until this happens.

I have come to say that it is ok to concentrate your efforts on getting your life back on track, there is nothing wrong with it and this is the way it has to and should be. This is going to be one of the biggest tests of your strength that you have ever had but if you can take the strength from this and not forget about your dream then you can achieve anything. You have to remember that things may not be going your way at the moment but it will get better and that life will get back to normal. When life is restored to some sort of normality you can’t waste more of your life thinking about it and worrying about it. I know this is easier said than done but we need to remember what happened, learn from it and use it to help us achieve our dreams. We need to also make the improvements and changes that need to be made in order to safeguard the villages, towns and cities so that young talented people can be free to pursue their dreams without the danger of setbacks. You can’t get back the time, money and possessions that have been lost but you can reclaim or for some people claim your dream for the first time and hold on to it.

Don’t let your talents and skills go to waste just because there has been a setback. Yes I know some setbacks are harder to get over than others and this is a major setback but it just means the harder you fall the stronger you can come back.

We are now in a time where we need more leaders around the globe who are going to help others in their time of need and in their times of triumph. One organisation currently recognising the top leaders in the world are the Global Youth Awards. I have been lucky enough to be nominated for this award because of all the work I do with young people. If you feel that I deserve to win the award you can vote for me by going to:

I just want to end today by sending out the thoughts and prayers of the Talented Young People organisation to all those affected by these floods, you will always be in our thoughts.

Have you ever had to overcome adversity like those people affected by the floods? How did you do it? How hard was it to overcome? Why no tell us all about it and join in our discussion:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Thursday, 26 July 2007

New Technology

This week’s blog is dedicated to new technology and how it is helping talented young people around the world achieve their dreams.

Now when I talk about new technology helping young people I bet you expect me to start talking about things like the internet, video cameras, phones, TV, MySpace etc. But the greatest impact I feel is still to come in regards to technology helping young people and that is the design of the $100 Laptop as part of the One Laptop per Child Project.

This project and laptop could see millions of children from the developing world have access to equipment which the western world takes for granted and help give these children a chance to build a better future for themselves.

Now I am sure many of you this week in the UK have been signing up to Orange Broadband to claim your free laptop but most of you claiming this offer will already have a computer in the house so although the spec may be far superior on it to the $100 laptop it wont have the long lasting effect that the $100 dollar laptop will.

Not only will these laptops provide young people in the developing world with new skills and a better education they will give these young children hope and encourage them to go on and achieve greater things than they ever felt possible. Technology is changing our world every day and with the changes and improvements come more chances for young people to achieve their dreams.

At Talented Young People we are always on the look out for new technologies that we can use to help young people and to help spread the word. Recently as you may have noticed we have started using social bookmarking websites like Contentpop, Blinklist, Digg and to help promote our news feed which seems to be going well, I’m sure social bookmarking websites are going to play a big part in the future of the internet and web promotion. On top of this you will have hopefully noticed that our second podcast is now available to download by going to:

But getting back to the point at hand MySpace may be able to help you get a million people to listen to your song or a video camera may help you put a video on Youtube and have it viewed by a million people but if you can give a child a piece of equipment that helps them find a dream or gives them the opportunity to achieve things they never thought possible then you can truly change the world.

You can talk about new technology and how it affects your life in this week’s forum topic by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 18 July 2007


Today’s youth have the stereotype of being a non caring, self obsessed breed. The truth is that although there may be many who are like this there are a growing number of young people out there who do great things for other people through volunteering. The number of young people giving up their time on a regular basis to volunteer is growing and I for one hope continues to grow in the future.

The amount young people can get out of volunteering is huge. With a world which is focused on academic skills and grades volunteering gives young people the chance to learn vital life lessons and skills which can’t be taught in the classroom. I believe that regardless of what you want to achieve in life you need to spend a period of time as a volunteer as working as a volunteer can show us how fortunate we are and what changes that we can make to individuals, groups and the world.

In the classroom you work in a world of theory but in volunteering you get to be involved in a practical world and see changes that are actually happening because of the work you have done. Now you may be saying the time that you give up to volunteer could be time used to pursue your dream but the amount of energy and experience you can gain through volunteering outweighs the time you no longer have. Being able to give up your time to help others is a great skill to have.

Volunteering can open up a world of possibilities and opportunities which wouldn’t have been open to you if you hadn’t got involved. If you are not old enough to get a paid job or if you don’t have the experience to get the job you want volunteering can gain you the experience which you can use towards your career. In the short term it may seem like you are working for no money but the extra money you can sometimes make by having that experience outweighs it by far.

The face of volunteering has changed, volunteering opportunities use to be very limited but now many organisations are working in the UK to promote volunteering and create a million and one new volunteering opportunities including anything from media to arts to sports. There never has been a better time to get involved in volunteering as there are now great opportunities and great support networks out there to guide you.

One organisation who are really making a difference in the volunteering world are the Youth Action Network. The Youth Action Network is the national organisation with unique experience and expertise in the Youth Action approach to volunteering. Look out for future publications from them which will feature a piece we wrote on volunteering and the arts. For more information on them go to their website:

Like this blog why not get involved in our topic of the week on the forum:

What volunteer work do you do, are you looking at getting in to volunteering and what do you get out of volunteering?

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Summer Holidays

Although you wouldn’t believe it with the weather we are currently having in the UK many young people up and down the country are now either on summer holiday or starting to make plans of their upcoming summer holiday. You may still be doing your exams but I know summer holiday is in the back of your mind. For many it will be there last summer holiday they ever have before they leave education and for some they may not have a summer holiday as it’s now time for them to find work.

The summer holiday is the longest period that you are away from the structure of schools and education. For six weeks or more you are left to your own devices and it is up to you to make your own timetable and decide what you want to do and where you want to go. This leaves many young lost and confused as they are use to being told what to do and having there day mapped out for them and because they don’t know how to organise themselves they spend most of the summer holidays on the sofa watching TV. Many young people will only do things if they are told to or they have to like school and the moment they don’t have to do anything they will choose to do nothing.

A great summer comes from great preparation and a want to do something meaningful with your time off. The summer holidays should be a time to recharge your batteries ready for the next year of education and a time to let off steam but don’t be the one that goes back to school or college on the first day back and when asks what they got up to this summer says not much. There are so many opportunities open to you regardless of your situation or what you want to do you just need to find them and devote time to them. The summer holidays is a time where you can learn about what you want to learn about or practice what it is you want to get better at.

Now some of you may be spending the summer stressing about exam results but don’t as stress isn’t going to change the grade you get. Use your summer to learn about yourself, the world and to gain skills. Before the summer holiday starts set yourself some targets that you want to achieve by the end of the summer and make a plan on how you are going to achieve them. Be experimental, try new things, join new clubs, if you’re old enough try a small part time job. Just do something which is going to help you get closer to achieving your dreams. Do everything you can to make this the summer of your life.

Why not get involved in our forums and let the world know what you have planned for your summer by going to:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 4 July 2007


In the UK we are currently in the middle of Wimbledon fortnight. This is normally a time for us Brits to get our strawberries and cream, cheer on another British tennis player in their attempt to win the big one and going out and playing tennis ourselves at local courts. Well this year all we have left is strawberries and cream as yet again we are left with no British stars left to cheer on and this year we are living through some very unusual weather for this period even by the UK's standard with floods breaking out all over the country so no ones playing on the courts.

The UK have over the years lost their power and dominance in many sports that it once had, many of which originated from the UK. The problem with our national sporting success has been discussed and debated at many levels with many people blaming the lack of sports and PE at school, the amount of green land which is being built on and the national media coverage of the dangers facing young people in this country when going out in public.

Some people say it is the lack of funding that is the reason we are not creating the line of stars we once were but to me it doesn't matter how much money you put in to a sport unless you have young people that want to do it and our skilled at it. In my opinion the problem comes from the British attitude of negativity and pessimism and the attitude of resenting people because they are better than you or at least trying to do their best. If we are going to create new sporting stars we have to encourage them all the way from when they start a sport to the moment they finish playing the sport.

When it comes to tennis specifically we have a big shortage of achieving players. Every year when Wimbledon comes around it encourages many young people around the UK to go and play or learn tennis and during Wimbledon fortnight tennis courts around the country are normally full of people young and old emulating what they have seen on TV. Just this year because of the weather this hasn't been true. The LTA and the tennis organisations are going to have to work harder this year to promote the game.

The other problem this country has is that football is way and above any other sport in the popularity stakes so it is very hard to get young people interested in other sports, in to schools and facilities to play the sport in parks etc. So my answer to this problem is to match funding with encouragement and to actually work with young people and find out ways from them on how to best coach them and nurture them. As with personal investment anything is possible.

If you would like to have your say and voice your opinions on why the UK aren't creating enough top sporting stars. Then you need to go to our forum and view our topic of the week:

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

The National Association for Gifted Children

It's seems as though the media are only interested in pushing stories which are negative when it comes to young people and the image of young people. It's always the young people who are up to no good or the schools that are failing that grab the headlines. With the amount of negative press young people get on a local and national basis many people now believe that the youth of today are a group of lawless trouble makers who have no interest in doing well at school or having good careers.

The NAGC are a group who are working hard to push, help and encourage young people to achieve more than what others might think they are capable of. Instead of focusing on the negatives they are an organisation who understand that some times the reason why they aren't excelling is the lack of support, encouragement, correct environment and the fact that they aren't being challenged.

The NAGC understand the importance of a support network and that it's not just the child that has to play a part in order for them to achieve. They break situations down and understand the individual roles that the parents and the teachers have to play in the development of young people. The NAGC understand how different situations and environments affect the chances young people have to succeed and most importantly they know that when a child acts out in class it's not always because they are a trouble maker.

We need more organisations like the NAGC working with children within our schools as the children within the schools who are out future and have the power to change the world. It's so easy to deal with the misbehaving kids and forget about those and not give attention to those at the top of the class as just because a child is top of their class it doesn't mean they are reaching their full potential or being challenged it just means that they scored the highest on a couple of tests or assignments.

The Talented Young People organisation is very proud to support the NAGC and will do all we can to help them and promote them as we believe that this is an organisation that has the power to help mould the future of this country and is one that doesn't get enough credit for the work that they do.

If you are in school or a parent of a child in school I definitely recommend that you go to:

And see if they can help you.

Whilst you're at it why not join in our topic of the week, this week's topic is "What do you think we can do to help young people?"

Adam Sibley
Founder of the Talented Young People organisation
"Envisage it, Believe it, Achieve it!"