Izzy’s inspiration to become a young trustee

Posted on the 2nd June 2019

Woodcraft Folk provide affordable activities for young people who want to increase their awareness of the world around them, develop lifelong friendships and have lots of fun.

Over half of the charity’s trustees are aged 25 or under and the board of Trustees is known as General Council. Each year representatives of all ages gather at a national event called Annual Gathering which includes the charity’s AGM alongside workshops and social activities.

I have been on committees within Woodcraft Folk for most of my life. They give me the opportunity to meet new people, young and old, and watch my ideas get put into action.

I vividly remember the empowerment I felt at my first Annual Gathering, the excitement I felt seeing real democracy happen. Most excitingly for 10-year old me, I got to be a part of the process. I sat for hours in a marquee as people I knew, many who I didn’t, argued their opinions on motions. I loved it.

I know when I first found out about General Council I was inspired to become a trustee. It’s important to me that I can give my time to a community that has given so much to me. I get so excited at the prospect of making a change and having my voice heard. When the opportunity came for me to stand last September I was excited to finally see what General Council did.

Izzy Stewart

The first meeting was quite overwhelming. There were so many papers I had to read in preparation and nerves from meeting new people. Once I got there it was like meetings I had been in before, faces that I knew and some I didn’t, but most excitingly, discussion. I observed people debating over particulars of ideas about how to improve our movement. How are we going to grow our numbers? How do we stay inclusive and open? The big money questions that no one can answer immediately but as a collective we come to a consensus on.

What was most comforting for me was the number of young people around the table. Even though I didn’t know all of them well, their presence relieved the pressure of feeling the need to know everything that was going on.  All of them would ask for clarification on points, encouraging me to do the same without feeling stupid for not knowing. By the end of the 6-hour meeting I no longer felt like a stranger to any of the people who I had listened to and who had listened to me.

Recently I have been reflecting on the impact they have had on my life and how important their friendship is to me. I have always had respect and endless support for people on committees I have been a part of.

I truly credit Woodcraft for my obsession with politics and I would not be pursuing a degree Economics and Politics if not for the spaces, like Annual Gathering, created for young people to have their voice heard.

Izzy Stewart

Izzy is a Trustee of Woodcraft Folk.

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