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!"