Social Mobility has defined me: An update

The idea that in one of the most advanced countries in the world, a young person can’t escape the path of being disadvantaged because of their postcode, their parent’s income and whether or not they’ve been in care, offends me.

I am worried for our future but I have hope.

I’m really excited to tell you, that I’ve been appointed by Her Majesty’s Government as a Social Mobility Commissioner.

Since I was 15 years old, my life has been all about public service.

I want to continue, at 22, to do everything I can to ensure that we get it right for this and future generations.

Social Mobility – all about giving young people the best chance in life no matter their background – has defined me.

From living on a council estate being brought up by a single mum on benefits and then heading into care when she became unwell.

I know what it’s like to grow up feeling angry and out of control believing that the world was against me.

Knowing that my life was laid out before me and it didn’t look pretty.

Scum, Yobs, Feral Animals and Thugs. The way young people have been described.

I don’t want to sit and complain and this is what compels me to act.

So I set up Xplode, a youth-led magazine – to change the conversation about young people, by letting them lead it. It’s now a flourishing magazine, A registered charity with employability and volunteer training for nearly 3000 young people.

I’m a trustee of Step up to Serve supporting social action and linking sectors to encourage wider participation in young people volunteering.

I’ve brought young people closer to decision making through the Full-Time Social Action Review

At Young Manchester, we’re creating thousands of opportunities for children and young people.

And back at home, at Xplode I’ve helped over 3,000 disadvantaged young people become more employable and where I was a teenage tearaway in the corridors, I’ve returned to Ladybridge High School as a Governor

I know that achieving social mobility will be life changing for many – for the country’s mental health, social and cultural capital, confidence and employment.

I say that we need to collaborate, coordinate and celebrate young people.