Young campaigners light up Downing Street

It’s vital to involve young people in the fight for every childhood, says Emily Cherry

Children outside Downing Street

We were really excited to go to the switch-on of the Christmas lights at 10 Downing Street this afternoon with some of our young campaigners.

Children are at the heart of the NSPCC's work, and our young campaigners help to give them a voice.

Together, we’ve helped persuade government to change the law to make an adult sending a sexual message to a child illegal, and presented a petition to Downing Street to demand that every child gets support after abuse.

Every day I come away from work feeling inspired by how we’re transforming young people’s lives. Children shape everything we do so we can protect every child, now and in the future. Young people like our young campaigner Amelia are an inspiration to us all. Read more about her story below

How we're helping young people get back on track

Many of our young campaigners have been helped by our services.

Not only does this give us an invaluable insight into their lives and their experiences, to help us fight for every childhood, but ensures we're best representing their needs.

And working with us as a young campaigner helps children and young people by boosting their self-esteem, developing their skills and giving them the confidence and knowledge they need to keep themselves safe.

Read more about our services for children and families.

Why our young campaigners are so important

Children and young people have a right to participate in decisions that affect their lives. And it's really important to us to involve them in every aspect of our work.

Having their input on some of our big campaigns sharpens the focus of our work and means our fight for every childhood is shaped by their experiences and what needs to change.

And by some of them bravely sharing their personal stories, they're able to help others and remind us why it's so vital that we continue to fight against child abuse. Because each of us can make a difference.

What it means to be an NSPCC young campaigner

18-year-old Amelia shares her experience of working with us and how the opportunity has helped her.

“When I was first asked to be a young campaigner for the NSPCC I was shocked as it was something I’d never considered before. I’d heard lots about the charity but never really knew that they involved young people in all their work. So I said yes, and my journey since becoming a young campaigner has been amazing.

I’ve done so many things I never thought I could do – from helping on campaigns and supplying feedback on materials and videos, to meeting the Board of Trustees and talking to them. I’ve also been privileged to be able to run the London Marathon for the NSPCC earlier this year as well as many other opportunities.

Being a NSPCC young campaigner has been great and the team who work with us always help us to find an event or a campaign to work on that suits us. When I first started, I was fairly quiet and lacked self-confidence. I remember at my first event, I didn’t talk to anyone unless they started a conversation with me first and even then I wouldn’t talk to them for long. But just a short while later I was at my second event known as ‘Invader’s day’ where a whole load of young campaigners from across the country came together to take over the London offices. WOW! There were so many people and very quickly I found some I got on with and we’re still friends now.

The opportunities have really helped me build my confidence. I’m no longer a quiet person and I really enjoy getting involved and helping other young campaigners for the NSPCC to do the same. I love being able to help others who are new to the young campaign group to settle in and make friends as I know how important that was for me.

Being an NSPCC campaigner has really changed me as a person. It’s helped me do more things where I live but also decide what I want to do when I’m older. Overall the experience has been amazing and I can’t wait to see what the next adventures will bring.

Being invited to attend the Christmas light switch-on at Downing Street came as such surprise to me. But I was so excited to be offered the opportunity as it allows me to talk to people who are there about the NSPCC, all the campaigns they run and the help that they offer a large range of children and young people, but also to adults through the Helpline. I’m very excited to attend the Christmas lights switch-on.”