17 November 2011
A Canterbury Christ Church University student is leading the way in helping young people get their voices heard on the national stage.
Jinal Shah a third year student who works with and represents charity, Kids Count as well as studying for his degree
Third year Events Management student, Jinal Shah started working with the national charity Kids Count while he was at school. Since then he has continued to work and represent the charity, as well as studying for his degree.
Jinal is currently the Youth Board Chairman, a position which led to him represent Kids Count on BBC Breakfast last week to speak in reaction to a recent study by Barnardo’s that revealed how the public holds a negative view of all children, despite the majority being well behaved and a significant number contributing to their communities and volunteering.
Jinal said: “The recent Barnardo’s survey showed that the way young people are perceived is very far from the truth. At Kids Count we find that if you actually speak with people and explain to them how young people really feel and what affects them, then you can start to change the minds of adults and even those in positions of power. Young people need to shout more about all the good things they are doing and what they contribute to society.”
Kids Count aims to find practical solutions to the broad spectrum of issues that affect children and young people in urban and rural communities, such as gun and knife crime, gang crime, persistent offending, bullying, homelessness and drug and alcohol abuse. Through a network of champions and advocates they aim to provide local and national solutions to these problems that affect many young people.
Jinal became involved with Kids Count after a fatal stabbing occurred in a fight between two of his friends at his Edgware school. Jinal continued: “They came to our school with an anti-knife crime event and from there I was asked if I wanted to become one of their volunteers. I haven’t looked back.
“It’s been a great experience as we are all from different backgrounds. As a team we meet regularly, as The Youth Board, to discuss the organisation’s current and future projects.
“We speak regularly with young people who are either victims of crime, gang members, community groups etc. to try and gage what are the key issues affecting young people and how they think we could try and changes things around.
“For example a few years ago we decided to look into the issue of knife crime, and volunteers formed a working group to write a report on how to prevent and reduce it. The volunteers were from the voluntary and private sector, local authority organisations and youth representatives, all with extensive experience and expertise of working directly with young people in community settings aimed at reducing knife crime.
“Most importantly we also made sure the group included contributions of the young people themselves, and their families, that had been directly affected by knife crime.
“The report was published in July 2008 at Westminster and has been a great success. So far there have been over 24,000 requests from people for a copy of the report.
Jinal continued: “Watch this space for a Youth Inspired Campaign Kids Count are launching next month on Driving.”
Jane Lovell, Senior Lecturer at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “Events Management students are offered a variety of exciting volunteering experiences in the public and private sector during their time at the University. Jinal is an inspirational example of a student making the most of his opportunities. Balancing this work with his studies and dedicating his time to a charity throughout his degree demonstrates a level of ethics, initiative and professional commitment which indicate that he has a very bright future.”
For more information on Kids Count visit: www.kidscount.org.uk
Notes to Editor
Canterbury Christ Church University is a modern university with a particular strength in higher education for the public services. With nearly 20,000 students, and five campuses across Kent, its courses span a wide range of academic and professional expertise.
- In 2010 the Faculty of Education received ‘outstanding’ grades in its Ofsted report for primary, secondary and post-compulsory programmes, together with its employment-based routes into teaching. The University’s primary provision has the unique record ofhaving been awarded the highest Ofsted grades in all inspections since 1996.
- 94 % of our recent graduates gain employment or are in further study in the first six months after graduating (2009/10 DLHE survey).
- Along with over a thousand undergraduate, postgraduate and professional training courses on offer, we are also home to world-leading and internationally recognised research in Education, History, Music and Sports Related Studies.
- Canterbury Christ Church University was founded in 1962 by the Church of England as a teacher training college