My Year as YA of the Year

In August 2012, during the Young Advisors AGM, I was awarded the title of the first ever ‘Young Advisor of the Year’ for 2012. I was nominated by the Sefton Young Advisors Lead, Dan Copley. And for that, I cannot thank Dan enough. I was so shocked when I won the award, as I didn’t even know I was nominated! I got back to my room after the award ceremony and burst into tears! It felt amazing to be recognised and given an award just for doing the job that I love!

Since winning this award, I’ve had so many brilliant opportunities and experiences, both here in Sefton and across the UK, and I’d like to thank everybody at Sefton Young Advisors and the Young Advisors national charity for supporting me so much! Also, thank you to Young Advisors USA, for their support and encouragement. Since being named ‘YA of the Year,’ I’ve been able to represent Young Advisors on a number of different pieces of work, which have enabled me to improve and gain so much, and I’ve loved every second!!

One of the many exciting pieces of national work that I have been involved in this year was pitching to partners and potential investors of the national charity, with the aim of gaining their support for Young Advisors and, in turn, benefitting even more young people across the country. I was also asked to accompany Gary Buxton (CEO of YA national charity) to a meeting with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in London, to discuss the brilliant work that Young Advisors do and the positive impact we can have on communities across the UK. I am looking forward to returning to London in July, to meet with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Rt Hon Don Foster MP, to share the amazing work of Young Advisors, and it is an honour to be able to do this.

This year has been the best year of my professional life, which may sound a bit strange to say, given that I am only 20 years old, but it really is true. This year I have gained so much valuable knowledge and experience, and worked with and met so many incredible people. I hope that my work over the past year has opened doors for my future and I’m able to continue to bring about positive change in my community and across the UK. I will have to “retire” (Young Advisors retire at 22!) in just over a year and I hope the skills that I have learnt as a YA and my experiences this year will help me progress in the future. I cannot thank Young Advisors enough for the brilliant opportunities that I have been given this year. Everything I do in the future will be thanks to my brilliant colleagues and friends at YA’s. My goals for the future are to continue to love my job as a YA, take up my role as an Associate of the Young Advisors Charity, stand to become a trustee of the national charity, and hopefully start my dream career: mental health awareness and training with professionals, children, schools and families, including tackling stigma, increasing the youth friendliness of mental health services and raising awareness of the signs of mental illness, to enable early intervention. Everyone who knows me knows how passionate I am about mental health! Fingers crossed I’m lucky enough to get my dream career, and if I do, it will be thanks to Young Advisors!

I hope whoever is awarded ‘YA of the Year 2013’ enjoys it as much as I have!

I’ve loved every second of being ‘Young Advisor of the Year’ and am so appreciative of everybody who has supported me. Thankyou.

Jenny JennyYAoftheyearcrop