Future Voices

Welcome to the Future Voices section of the EDP website. Working with Norfolk County Council, we want to give young people in Norfolk a voice so they can tell us about their lives, their thoughts, and their future. All the articles are written by young people in Norfolk aged 13 to 18.

If you want to contribute articles, ideas or photos to Future Voices, please email, or send us a tweet to @EDP24 using #FutureVoices.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

Future Voices: What do schools care about?

As students across the UK finish exams and unite one last time as the class of 2016 at their glamorous proms, we see the thoughts of grades simmer to the back of their minds. But what do schools really care about? Their students or just their grades?

Future Voices: Tom Dale

Tom Dale’s story is one which is personal to North Norfolk and is an inspiration to any aspiring entrepreneurs in the area.

Wells Pirate Festival. Pictured are (from left) Joyce Trett, Kate Taylor-Nevill and Dave Barber. Picture: Ian Burt

Short of ideas of what to do this summer? Here are a few dates for your diary. 

Blickling Hall.  Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

It’s the summer holidays, you’ve been longing for this moment all year. And it’s raining. So what do you do? Norfolk offers a range of attractions that are enjoyable even in pouring rain.

Future Voices: Nina Matthews' grandmother

A young person’s choice of role models seem to reflect our era of vanity.

Houses of Parliament

No matter how scary, intimidating, or seemingly lifeless teachers are, they are human. As humans we have an ingrained need to set out our ideas as passionately and as emphatically as possible.

Mental Health. Pictured: A man talks with his friends. Picture: Time to change/Newscast Online

There is often a lot of stigma attached to mental health issues. This needs to be tackled.

Emma Watson. Photo: Chris Jackson/PA Wire

When a teenage girl hits puberty, it’s like waving goodbye as she floats away into the deepening, darkening depths of losing herself and meeting the generic, ‘copy and paste’ version, of who society tells her to be.

Director Christopher Nolan attends the

I’m a film lover, and it’s no secret to my friends and family that there is one man who I always refer to when justifying my obsession: Christopher Nolan.

Netball. EDP SPORT 2607

Cast your mind back to your last PE lesson then answer this: what did you actually learn? Most likely, something along the lines of how to bounce a ball or how to do a pencil roll.

Future Voices: Students sitting exams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Schools across England began teaching a selection of the new GCSEs and A-levels in September 2015. The first examinations will be sat in summer 2017.

Future Voices: Winner - Gypsykate Garramone, 16, Swanton Novers

Norfolk teenagers have been showing off their photographic talents with a series of stunning images showing different aspects of life in the county.

Maybe these people have discovered what the special word is.

Thousands of 15 and 16-year-old students are throwing all that they have at their GCSE exams – but what happens after the examinations finish?

What is done for the 'average' students? Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

There are many issues surrounding our education system so the one I will focus on is the lack of attention ‘average’ students receive.

Nadine Kaadan spoke at the Writers' Centre Norwich.

Nadine Kaadan, a Syrian author-illustrator of children’s books, recently visited the Norwich Writers’ Centre. With a kind smile, and a purple flower tucked behind one ear (“a gift from a fan”), Kaadan is every bit as animated as her books suggest.

A woman smoking. Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

At parties, playgrounds and street corners up and down the country teenagers are making the choice. To smoke or not to smoke?

Are fish fingers all you really need to worry about? Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Who’d choose to come home after a gruelling day at work, scrub the house clean, cook the dinner, get the kids bathed and ready for bed then finally succumb to the mighty fist of exhaustion?

A child cries at the migrant camp in Idomeni, Greece. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

The migrant crisis is a growing problem - and one former Norfolk teacher has first hand experience of some of its horrors.

A Protein World advert displayed in an underground station in London which caused controversy. Photo: Catherine Wylie/PA Wire

Everyday, young people face constant exposure to the ‘ideal body image’, but what impact is this truly having on the younger generations?

What would Ernest Hemingway think about the state of English today? (AP Photo/Florida Keys News Bureau, Andy Newman)

An issue, I have witnessed, that young people face is the degradation of language caused by a mass over-indulgence in technology.

Future Voices Aaron Cahill, Charlotte Wilson, Joe Hamilton, Taylor Ball, Emily Oxbury and Laura Wright. Photo : Steve Adams

We’re looking for a new editorial team of young people to plan, write and edit articles about their lives, views and growing up in Norfolk.

Paralympian Jessica-Jane Applegate. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

September 2, 2012. The London crowd goes wild as Britain’s young talent Jessica-Jane Applegate wins gold in the S14 200m freestyle at the Paralympic games.

Future Voices: EDP reporter Gavin Caney and Future Voices writer Emily Oxbury

When I arrived at the Adrian Flux Arena to shadow EDP Sports journalist Gavin Caney, it became evident that preparation is a key part of any reporter’s job.

Future Voices: What can we learn from dogs?

Whether you’re a dog person or a cat person, there is one thing that is universally acknowledged. Dogs are always ecstatically happy (or at least look happy).

Future Voices: Holme-next-the-Sea is one of many places in Norfolk to visit this summer

Don’t have the holiday budget of Kim Kardashian? Norfolk holds five holiday spots to explore without breaking the bank.

Future Voices: Emily spent a week without using her mobile phone.

Would anyone send me any birthday messages? What celeb gossip would I miss out on? What are thumbs actually useful for, except texting?

Future Voices: The different sides in the referendum debate are making their cases. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

With the EU referendum taking place on June 23, we asked two young people to outline opposing views on UK’s relationship with the EU. Here, Joe Hamilton puts forward the case for voting to leave the EU.

File photo dated 27/11/2015 of the Union flag fluttering next to the EU flag. Picture: Toby Melville/PA Wire

With the EU referendum taking place on June 23, we asked two young people to outline opposing views on UK’s relationship with the EU. Here, Charlotte Wilson puts forward the case for voting to remain in the EU.

Winning goalscorer Martin Olsson of Norwich celebrates victory with Andre Wisdom of Norwich as Georginio Wijnaldum of Newcastle United looks away dejected at the end of the Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road, Norwich Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd +44 7904 640267 02/04/2016

A month ago it looked all doom and gloom for Canaries fans. After nine games without a win, relegation was staring them right in the face, seemingly dragging them back down to the darkest depths of the Championship.

Future Voices: An example of a healthy snack

How much chocolate have you eaten over Easter? A couple of eggs? A few more than a couple of eggs? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Future Voices: Emily Oxbury, centre, on the steps of 10 Downing Street

In 1916 Girlguiding members were busy contributing to the War effort, but today, in 2016, it’s a very different story.

Future Voices: Joe has some tips for people itching to start driving

At long last the wait is over! My 17th birthday has arrived and I can finally drive a car on the roads (legally).

Future Voices: Have you walked to Hunstanton cliffs? Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk is famed for the Broads, but some of the county’s most interesting beauty spots can be found in the west. Here are five walks to do in West Norfolk which will reveal the true beauty of the entire county.

Future Voices:

In 2016 you would expect men and women to be equal, yet there are still massive gender stereotypes and issues of equality in society.

Future Voices: Students sitting exams. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Like many 16 year olds across the country I am currently participating in the final year of high school, 11 years of education being compressed into an hour or so of writing...

Future Voices: Lisa Kierman made a Leap Year marriage proposal to Kevin Frost, in Haart estate agents in Thetford. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The chances of being born on a leap day are one in 1,461.

Are pupils being put under too much pressure?

It is strange how much GCSEs have changed in just a few years.

Where will the next David Bowie come from? Photo credit: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Sadly, in recent news we have seen a few British treasures pass away; shaping the music, radio and movie industry we enjoy today.

Future Voices: Are you feeling the love?

When did a bottle of bleach, or a screwdriver, become a gift of love?

Cross country action from the Norfolk School Games at Gresham's School in Holt.   Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Physical education: some love it, some hate it. However, we can all agree on the fact the cold weather, rain and wind doesn’t always make running particularly appealing.

The Future You app is free to download.

In East Anglia, quite often we can seem so cut off from the rest of the world. Many of us young people can’t wait to go out and explore the bigger world when we’re older.

Leonardo DiCaprio attending the EE British Academy Film Awards, where he won an award for The Revenant. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

The 2016 Oscar nominations are, on the whole, stunningly predictable.

Norwich has a host of exciting music venues.

People are quick to find fault with Norfolk. The word “boring” seems to be commonly used and people often add that there is “nothing happening”. But where music is concerned, this could not be further from the truth.

Are you too old for Christmas?

Recently I have come to the conclusion that Christmas isn’t the same as it used to be. The reason for this was due to this thing called ‘growing up’.

New Year's resolutions.

So, it’s the start of a new year, time to turn a new leaf, and you’ve made your decision to change (for a couple of days, at least). How do you plan on keeping your resolutions?

The world of journalism has been changing fast.

12,000,000 papers are sold every day. But when the news is available at the click of a button, why is the newspaper still alive?

Euro 2016 is one of the great sporting highlights of this year. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

2016 promises to be a big year for the sporting world.

Will you make your own Christmas presents this year?

We all know that awkward moment when you realise that there’s only one week until Christmas and you still haven’t found the perfect gift. Finding amazing presents for your friends and family isn’t as easy as it sounds. Ever thought about making the gifts yourself?

The Open Christmas Dinner at St Andrews Hall could not happen without dozens of volunteers. Picture by: Sonya Duncan

Christmas, a time for rejoice, celebration and plenty of festivities. Children’s Christmas lists falling all the way to the floor, hoping that they have been a good girl or boy for Santa.

The John Lewis Christmas advert is one of the 12 signs of Christmas.

December 25 is drawing ever closer, and every day ‘it’s beginning to look a lot (more) like Christmas’. How many of my 12 signs of Christmas have you spotted?

Members of the band Eagles of Death Metal, Jesse Hughes, right, and Julian Dorio pay their respects to 89 victims who died in a Nov. 13 attack at the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France, Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Members of the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal are back at the ravaged Paris theater where they survived a massacre by Islamic extremist suicide bombers. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

Christmas should be a time without worry, without fear. Nearly 100 years have passed since the First World War ended, yet global peace is still far from reality. Devastating terrorist attacks continue to take place and leave me wondering: what is the future for my generation?

Dentist Raid Ali, center right, and his colleague Aliyo Rashid Taylor, center left, treat migrants with toothache inside Frances biggest refugee camp near Calais, northern France.  (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

This year, the refugee crisis has become increasingly significant, with hundreds of thousands of refugees landing in Europe.

George the Dragon outside Archant, Norwich. Photo : Steve Adams

As we prepare to welcome 2016, our Future Voices team look back at what made 2015 such a great year for them.

Miles, left, teaching older people to use technology at the 'IT made simple' project

I am an ambassador for youth social action, and you can be too. I’ve been working with other young people and Norfolk County Council to come-up with a plan for getting more young people volunteering, fundraising and campaigning on issues that matter to them. We need your help.

Norwich Foodbank has opened a stall on Norwich market - one of the many ways people find to volunteer. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Fewer young people in the East of England regularly volunteer their time, fundraise for charity or campaign on issues they care about than in other parts of the country. We want to change this. We have written a series of articles to help more young people learn about the benefits of helping others.

Young people enjoying a GVI UK opportunity

There are plenty of opportunities for young people in Norfolk to give back to their local community and gain vital experience for later in life. If you’re looking to fill your spare time, get ahead when it comes to getting a job, or extra experience for your university application, why not give volunteering 
a go?

Young people enjoying a GVI UK volunteering adventure abroad.

Voluntary work is something that a lot of us think about. I’m here to help put to bed some of the myths and rumours that stop people from giving it a go.

Aaron Cahill took part in the National Citizen Service scheme. Photo : Steve Adams

ou could do something life-changing in your holidays. You’ll meet new people, try new things and make a difference in your local community. This is the National Citizen Service.

Wymondham College students dressing as their childhood heroes for Children in Need.

Whether it’s doing a sponsored run or holding a Macmillan coffee morning with your mum, wearing a Pudsey shirt all day or having a bake sale in your gate way – there are plenty of ways to start fundraising for charities that need your help. So what’s stopping you?

Young people can lobby their MP about issues they care about. Photo: PA Wire

There are many political pathways young people can choose to tell the government about our hopes, desires and the changes to youth services we want. I encourage young people to try out some of these.

Emily's chocolate cupcakes.

Everybody loves cakes! Taking part in a bake sale at school or college can be a great way to raise money for charity. I have created a super easy triple chocolate cupcake recipe which is perfect to sell at your bake sale! This recipe makes around nine cakes.

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