On Thursday 16th September 2021 The Earl of Wessex KG GCVO officially launched Youth Organisations in Uniform West Midlands (YOU West Midlands) at a special event during his visit to Birmingham
YOU West Midlands is a collaboration of the 11 Youth Organisations in Uniform across Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall and Wolverhampton, who currently comprise some 20,000 young people
The 11 Youth Organisations are the Army Cadet Force, Boys’ Brigade & Girls’ Association, Combined Cadet Forces, Fire Cadets, Girlguiding, Girls’ Brigade, RAF Air Cadets, Sea Cadet Corps, Scouts, St John Ambulance and Volunteer Police Cadets.
Young people and adult leaders from these organisations were able to speak to His Royal Highness about their involvement, what they enjoyed and the skills they have gained.
Diana Crabtree, St John Ambulance County President and YOU West Midlands steering group said, “I could not have been prouder of our cadets – Amber, Grace and Bradley were confident, articulate and engaging with HRH Earl of Wessex. Sam McCauley, unit Manager for Kings Norton ASU and Chris Houghton, District Manager, remarked that they had made their units and St John Ambulance incredibly proud.”
As a Patron of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme His Royal Highness was also interested to hear about young people’s involvement in these schemes as part of the youth organisation.
Following this His Royal Highness gave a short speech before the official launch.
YOU West Midlands is chaired by the West Midland Lieutenancy with support from the West Midland Reserve Forces & Cadets Association and enthusiastic involvement by all 11 youth organisations.
Participation by a young person in a uniformed youth organisation can play a life-changing part in the development of the skills and confidence needed to fulfil their potential and to enable them to play an active role as a citizen in our communities.
For this reason YOU West Midlands will provide a high quality web portal with information on opportunities locally available, help attract and develop adult volunteers, support collaboration between the youth organisations and raise awareness of the benefits of uniformed youth organisations to an individual and the community.
The collaboration of these organisations will provide numerous benefits including, but not limited to, skill and knowledge sharing, shared training events, partnership bids for funding and co-ordinated attendance at community events allowing a bigger youth presence. An additional added benefit, particularly for the young people, will be inter-organisation events such as sports or first aid competitions, quizzes, concerts or debating groups.