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Future Voices

The internet is a vast scape of links and web pages that has constantly developed and evolved since its launch in 1991 – but are we too reliant on it? Are our children being raised by the internet?

The importance of getting a good night’s sleep is a concept we are all familiar with and - while the exact purpose of sleep is still scientifically unclear - we spend 24 years of our life doing it, so it must have some importance in helping us to lead a healthy life.

Over the past few years, schools have seen a decline in school trips, particularly those that involve going abroad.

Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia are only a few of the hidden learning difficulties which many people face in their day to day life. But how badly can they affect young people?

There were many bizarre trends during 2016 - I still find myself pondering the reasons behind fads like the Mannequin Challenge. One trend that captured my eye however, was the magnificent resurgence in vinyl sales.

So, it’s been more than one month since New Year’s Day, and I guarantee that 25pc of the resolution-making population have broken their New Year’s promises. But in my opinion, there is no need to make it a big deal.

A record number of hate crimes have been recorded in Norfolk since the vote to leave the EU - Brexit has definitely resulted in anything but British prosperity.

Three shifts in, and I had already decided (through my inexperienced assumptions) that I had an eternal hatred of work.

Revision is a fundamental part of achieving success at any level of education.

Britain has always been a country which takes great pride in its achievements, best highlighted to me this Christmas whilst watching Hugh Grant’s speech as Prime Minister in Love Actually.

An estimated 117, 234 refugees are living in the UK.

Hosting a plethora of premature deaths that sent shockwaves throughout the world and entertainment industry alike, 2016 was less than favourable for some.

January, the dawn of a brand new year which surely should be an optimistic and exciting time, with the prospects of a new year emerging.

In the UK around 290,000 people suffer from an anxiety disorder. Often many young people fear speaking out, worried of judgement or lack of understanding from peers and family.

Mobile phones used to be for a simple call, the occasional text or a game of the well-loved snake.

In light of the most recent viral craze of a bunch of halfwits dressing up in a red wig, wielding a cricket bat and scaring the bejesus out of innocent passers-by, also known as ‘Killer Clowns’, now seems the right time to take a look back at other such displays of pathetic tomfoolery.

‘Where are you getting your dress for prom from?’ ‘What are you doing for your 16th birthday?’ ‘What are you asking for for Christmas?’ - Just a few of the many questions I hear at school at every week.

The difference between big and small artists - looking at the music labels, how much artistic freedom do they get?

There seems to be an unwritten rule of public transport etiquette - if other seats are available you should not, under any circumstance, sit next to someone else. Why is this?

The US presidential elections, a hot topic and one that received a large amount of attention. Be it from news outlets, TV shows, or social media; opinion and discussion has sparked from it. However, whenever I saw a story about Trump or Clinton, I ask myself the same question: was there too much media coverage? Granted, it was an interesting and often concerning subject.

Let’s face it, opinion is divided on autumn and winter. It can be cold, windy and exasperatingly inconvenient for one’s hair. But don’t worry - this isn’t the zombie apocalypse - here are four things that will make the two coldest seasons of the year a little less harrowing.

Halloween: the one holiday that divides families and friends every single year.

Norfolk may be stereotyped as a quiet place for retirees. However, it is actually bursting with careers and opportunity.

There is no doubt that arriving at sixth form is a daunting experience; new friends, new teachers and a new environment, who wouldn’t be nervous? However, the worst part of all has to be the unexpected leap from GCSEs to A-levels.

Fierce, feisty and full of attitude - three phrases you can definitely use to describe Tracy Beaker, but can you add realistic to that list?

In the UK, 725,000 men and women of all ages suffer from eating disorders.

63,000 tonnes. That’s roughly 14,000 lorries, or 10,000 African elephants. As hard as it is to believe, this is how much food Norfolkians waste every single year. In fact, the average UK family flushes £700 down the drain per year due to food bought and thrown away without being used.

Results in Norfolk are rising each year, which adds increasing pressure on schools to be, as Ofsted would say, ‘outstanding’. But what really makes a school ‘outstanding’?

Before he became one of America’s most famous and influential journalists, Hunter S. Thompson, at just twenty years old, penned an insightful letter to a friend. The letter serves as invaluable advice that any young person should take.

Yasssss, that’s totes peng bae, ur brows are so on fleek rn, like seriously m8! Any idea what was just said? Chances are if you’re over 30 you will be clueless.

We are constantly bombarded with advertisements online, on the television, and around our cities.

‘Climate change’ is a phrase that’s been around for as long as I remember, and it won’t be going away anytime soon.

Village after village the banners screamed, “Go Melissa Go” and posters of Melissa in action adorned shop windows for miles. By the end of my summer holiday in eastern Canada I knew all about athlete Melissa Bishop.

As September quickly approaches, those moving up and into A2 are finding themselves asking the same question: ‘What’s next?’

I only really found out about my role model relatively recently, through an internet band known as NSP, a band that I started to listen to a few years ago and have loved ever since.

Day by day we are overwhelmed with millions of funny tweets, viral videos on Facebook and pictures of the ideal relationship on Instagram.

It was a referendum that meant their future will lie outside the European Union, but in which they were prevented from having their say.

There is no doubt that the canaries are expected to fly straight back up through the cage of the championship and into free air of the Premier League.

When a young person turns 17, the excitement of learning to drive kicks in. The thoughts of freedom and independence is enough to convince anyone, however there are some young people who feel that it is more of a pressure to learn. So what about those who don’t feel ready to drive?

The film industry is becoming increasingly saturated with tasteless ‘bro-movies’ in which we are expected to follow the vulgar, misogynistic escapades of a charmless cretin and his band of tedious buddies.

With all the distractions of the modern world, it can be difficult to remain engaged in a book that doesn’t grab you from the off. Here are five books guaranteed to keep you enthralled:

When Music Week released their ‘30 under 30’ list featuring only two individuals of ethnic minority earlier this year it sent shock waves through the music industry and across the UK.

Can you help Norfolk’s Cassie Hill compete in the World Martial Arts Games?

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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


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

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.

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.

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?

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

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

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

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?

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.

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?

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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?

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

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’.

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?

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?

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.

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?

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?

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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?

It’s a break-through industry on everyone’s lips: YouTubers, or otherwise known as vloggers.

Teens across the country have been anticipating the release of the new movie Paper Towns, and it’s finally here.

It’s come to that time of year again where many of us start to take a new pathway in our lives.

We all see on TV the queues of wannabes lining up for the X Factor and The Voice. But I’m here to tell you about the incredible talent we have right here in Norfolk.

The next generation are being raised in a society full of fake ideals portrayed to them via the media. The television is one of the main sources of these problematic portrayals.

I’m currently looking for a part-time job to do alongside studying for my A-levels. But should I worry about what effect it will have on my grades? Will it be worth it in the end? Is it even possible?

Now that September is upon us and the summer is well and truly drawing to an end, we find ourselves with a barren expanse of wet autumnal days and dreary winter weeks stretching ahead of us.

There’s no doubt a social sport such as tennis is a great way of bringing people together to keep fit and healthy, so what’s stopping you from getting out there and hitting a ball around with a group of friends?

A group of Norwich schoolgirls have been reflecting on their part in an amazing summer for women’s football.

Whether we’re spending them at home or abroad, the summer holidays remind us of the importance of learning a language.

Are you tired of the same boring summer activities? Well I have the solution: fun way to hang out with family and friends while getting a dosage of excitement.

“Back in my day” or “when I was a lad” seem to be phrases aimed at my generation, more often than not in criticism of our alleged lazy, layabout behaviour.

Most young people nowadays are encouraged to have an aim or goal for the future - but what happens if your first choice falls through?

After a brief one-year sabbatical away from England’s highest tier, Norwich City FC are back in the big time, gearing up for their return to the Premier League, but what can we expect for this season?

Teenagers have long been associated with sleeping in, sleeping longer and being lazier than everyone else.

This world should be a happy place for everyone. Today I’m asking you to think about how you behave and act around other young people. Do you treat others how you want them to treat you?

We have all done it, sat in front of a Shakespeare book wondering why we are there. Can Shakespeare really help our futures and careers?

This summer thousands of children will spend hours racing round the streets of Norwich in search of Snap, Bajestic, Draco, the Mighty Oakus, and their many friends.

The long awaited summer holidays are almost upon us and will be here before we know it, but have you decided how you are going to spend it?

Technology has moved faster than ever before, developing and improving in an attempt to fulfil society’s needs.

Summer is upon us: the time of year when your parents or teachers suggest that maybe it’s time that you found a summer job.

The best thing about growing up in Norfolk...where do you begin? After careful consideration. I have found my top five best things.

People are quick to find fault with growing up in Norfolk. “Boring” and “isolated” are commonly used to describe what, in my opinion, is the complete opposite.

There’s nothing like waking up in the morning to the scent of freshly mowed grass caressing your nostrils. The warm feeling of bliss tranquillity that wraps you like a warm hug. There’s no sirens blaring at 4am, disconcerting you from your peaceful slumber. Here there’s no contaminated pollutants choking your airways and tarnishing your lungs. This is the countryside.

Norfolk is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the UK, each able to facilitate the interests of every young person, whether they are into sports, photography, history or simply enjoying unforgettable moments with unforgettable people. This county provides it all in abundance.

Growing up in Norfolk has been a great eye opener for me; until the age of 11 I had lived in South-East London.

Twelve months ago I began a scrapbook. It is filled with holiday photos, concert tickets and newspaper cuttings and I hope that in years to come it will be passed down throughout my family.

It’s an important time of year for many of our young people in Norfolk and across Britain.

On Thursday 21st May 2015, for the second year running, I helped to organise and successfully run the ‘Big ‘D’ Festival’ along with other Youth Forum members at The Forum in Norwich.

Do you have your headphones in when you’re walking or cycling? Well it’s time to stop and think about what has happened to some young people in recent years and the consequences it could bring to you.

We use passwords for all kinds of things: social networking sites, emails, different apps. Think of all the things you use on a daily basis and it’s almost guaranteed that at least one of them needs a password.

Speaking out to someone about self-harm for the first time can be really daunting, but speaking out is the only way you can help yourself or others around you who you know are self-harming.

I’ve spoken to loads of young people from across Norfolk about how their schools taught them to stay safe. I received a variety of feedback, positive and negative. Some young people say they spent too much time on it while others don’t even touch on the subject. At my school, most of what we were taught was about being safe online and happened in year 10.

It may only be 40 minutes long but ‘Chelsea’s Choice’ will hopefully keep thousands of Norfolk teenagers safe for years to come. The touring production, now seen by 8,000 youngsters in the county, tackles the tough, frightening and often silent subject of Child Sexual Exploitation. Chelsea’s Choice helped me to recognise the signs of CSE; think about how I could help a friend and highlighted the increasingly difficult and ever changing role facing teachers in 2015. My PSE teacher, Miss Allen, and Abigail McGarry, Norfolk’s Safeguarding Children’s Board manager, have been giving me their thoughts on the value of ‘Chelsea’s Choice’.

Child sexual exploitation is a touchy subject, which sometimes makes it hard to tell what’s true and what isn’t.

I caught up with Adele Sutton who works for the Magdalene Group, which runs the ROSE Project (Reaching Out on Sexual Exploitation). The project supports young people who are at risk of, or who are being, exploited.

CSE is a major child protection issue for communities, not only here in the UK but throughout the world. It is something that often goes unnoticed by even those who are closest to the young girls and boys who are groomed, then abused; inflicting scars that can last for the young person’s entire life.

My name is Danielle and I am a young carer. I care for four members of my family; my mum, dad, sister and brother.

Healthwatch uses many different ways to explain to people what they do and how they help people improve Norfolk’s health and social care services.

Why is PE such a ‘Marmite subject’ for school children? Why, for some, is it the highlight of the week, yet others dread the cold windy playing field, or the long wait to be picked?

I will always remember the day I had to go to A&E. When my mum and I signed in, we were told that we could wait in the children’s waiting area, rather than the bustling main waiting room.

General Election voting turnouts amongst young adults are rapidly declining.

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