Two of our NCS graduates from West Yorkshire have been acting as Youth Food Ambassadors as part of a major national inquiry.
17-year-olds Rabiya Hussain and Jani Clarke have been taking part in a national inquiry to help eradicate child hunger in the UK.
They joined Dame Emma Thompson to deliver the Food Foundation's final report on the ‘Children’s Future Food Inquiry’ to Number 10 Downing St.
They then went on to speak on BBC’s The One Show.
Acting as Youth Food Ambassadors for the Inquiry, they contributed towards key findings in a report which is now recommending an independent Children’s Food Watchdog and the launch of a Children’s ‘Right2Food’ Charter.
Rabiya and Jani, who are both science students at Huddersfield New College, took part in the Inquiry as part of the NCS programme delivered by us in West Yorkshire.
They were two of only a handful of the 400 young people who took part in the Inquiry to be invited to meet politicians in London and speak on national TV.
“It was amazing,” said Rabiya. “I don’t know which part of the day was the most exciting; the Question and Answer session we did at Westminster where we got to discuss our concerns with politicians, or being interviewed live on The One Show.”
They said Emma Thompson listened to what they had to say and encouraged them to speak out. “She was really kind and supportive,” said Rabiya.
On The One Show, Rabiya talked about the problem of schoolchildren being ‘hangry’, where hunger is affecting their concentration, behaviour and self-confidence. Jani, meanwhile, summarised the aims of the report, especially the intention to create the nation’s first independent Children’s Food Watchdog.
Our NCS Manager in West Yorkshire, Dan Ilsley, said that Rabiya and Jani had been courageous and self-composed: “They did a wonderful job putting their points across. I’m sure they will have gained an enormous amount from the whole experience. The good news is that although they have now graduated on our NCS programme, they intend to keep working as Youth Food Ambassadors. Neither of them see this as a quick-fix solution and are looking for ways of turning the new charter into action.”
The Inquiry focuses on the food situation of children living in poverty across the UK and has cross-party support from 14 parliamentarian and two All Party Parliamentary Groups as well as the Children’s Commissioners in all four UK nations.