Today (2 June, 2021) we’re celebrating the Power of Youth Day, which highlights the contributions of children and young people to society, through their volunteering and social action. Whilst not all the fantastic LSE volunteers we work with are ‘young people’, we have the privilege of working with lots of volunteers who are 20 years old and younger.
We’ve spoken about how integral the contributions of volunteers and communities has been this year already, but today we want to focus on the contributions of young people. Young people’s contributions during the pandemic have been incredible, supporting their families and communities in so many ways. From youth led campaigns about Covid-19 to volunteering at food banks or as part of the vaccination programme; they have played such an important role.
At the same time, young people and children have been hugely affected by the pandemic. Disruption to studies, work, social isolation, and poor mental and physical health has disrupted many. Students at LSE have done incredibly well in a virtual (and sometimes hybrid) learning environment and haven’t let it get in the way of contributing to our communities.
This year’s theme is championing the resilience, energy and strength of young people – as volunteers, mentors, peer educators and more – while overcoming the challenges the pandemic brought. We know there will be a lot more LSE students out there who have made a massive impact to their community but take a look at these amazing young people!
International Relations student Rory Moore set up the Coronavirus Community Volunteering initiative to support vulnerable and elderly people in his local area. The initiative was quickly spread beyond Surrey, across the UK and globally! At only 20 years old, his astonishing work has been recognised by the Prime Minister and the United Nations. It’s great to see young people from LSE using their skills and resources within their community and beyond.
At only 19, Tanya has been working with her local council to launch an initiative called ‘Championing Youth Minds‘. This to help combat increasing mental health problems in her home town of Worthing. The platform aims to provide a safe space for young people, to voice their experiences, connect with others, access free youth-made resources and join free mental wellbeing workshops. Tanya’s awesome work is an inspiring example of how youth can empower each other to create a better world for everyone, and you can read more here!
Dowon Kim has been an Off Campus Support Scheme mentor during the 2020/21 academic year. Living off campus can be challenging, but this year has presented further challenges due to the pandemic, such as limited access to LSE campus and reduced ability to socialise and interact with peers. She has excelled in helping her mentee group settle into life at LSE. Being a young mentor has been especially important this year, so a massive thank you to Dowon!
Noah Gershon (BSc in Politics and International Relations 2023)
Noah has been volunteering at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue’s Drop-in for Asylum Seeker Families, providing a warm welcome and supportive chat to those who visit. He is also a helping hand when looking after children, and a friendly face for those who are distressed. We have no doubt that he has made an outstanding impact in his community – so a big thank you to Noah!