Adele smiling in front of dark grey background

Adele Tondu, YMCA Thames Gateway

Adele is 18 years old and works for YMCATG part-time as a birthday party host. She enjoys working with children and regularly volunteers at a local charity shop. She is also passionate about politics.

Adele heard that YMCAE&W were looking for young people to attend a forum in parliament. This particularly appealed to Adele who would like to go on to study international politics at ULIP in Paris. She was lucky enough to be chosen and in September 2017 represented the YMCA in parliament.

In 2018 Adele was nominated for YMCA Youth Ambassador. She has since undergone PR training delivered by the BBC and regularly meets with fellow ambassadors from around the UK which has helped her to develop her leadership skills.

Adele then attended two further youth forums in parliament; the first an introduction to legislation and the second the opportunity to meet MP’s and discuss issues affecting young people.

More recently Adele spotted an opportunity to attend a UN event and put herself forward. She produced a report outlining why she wanted to attend and her passion shone through. Adele attended the ECOSOC Forum at the UN in New York in April 2019. This was a two day event focusing on youth empowerment and engagement with the theme of promoting peaceful, inclusive societies and justice.

Adele thoroughly immersed herself in the forum; she met over 20 leaders from YMCAs from around the world, and putting her Youth Ambassador skills into practice introduced herself to the French Ambassador. Adele also delivered a session on the work that YMCA delivers locally and nationally and spoke out about why she felt it was important to ask young people what they want.

Adele is looking forward to volunteering at YMCA 175 event in August and in the future intends to apply to be on the Youth Council.

Enya smiling in front of pink background

Enya Hollis, YMCA Cardiff

Enya campaigns tirelessly and at any opportunity the issues effecting young carers and the effect being a young carer can have on the emotional wellbeing of young carers.

Enya has been involved with the mental health raising campaign led by YMCA and has met Prince Harry and championed young carers with him. Enya with the support of YMCA Cardiff is giving the young carers forum in Cardiff a new lease of life by chairing it and raising awareness and recruiting new members.

Enya has lobbied assembly members and written a poem about her life as a young carer, this poem is given to each new young carer joining the project in their initial pack.

iris

Iris-May Farler-Smith, YMCA Dulverton Group

Iris-May is the Vice Chair of The Weston Youth Council.

The Youth Council are a diverse group of young people all of whom access YMCA DG facilities in one way or another. The group is made up of young carers, home educated and some with disabilities, and the chair of the council recently won the Mayor’s young person of the year award.

The group take it upon themselves to represent young people at local events such as Remembrance Sunday Parades and Services.

As a key member of the group, Iris-May organised a youth environmental protest against the expansion of nearby Bristol Airport; facilitated consultations with North Somerset Council on transport developments and petition for change locally as well as nationally.

She works hard to ensure their voices represent the young people of North Somerset and  is dedicated to making the world a better place for future generations.

Youth Matters Awards categories