We’re supporting our community to connect with who and what you need. We’re gonna feature local people needing some know-how to get them to the next level. Let’s look out for each other. Keep dropping in to see who can help you. 

We’ll be talking to a new member of the community every week. This week we’re chatting with Olivia, a speaker for youth political literacy from Northfield. If you wanna work with Olivia, or get involved with a project drop us a DM on @MotiveBHX and we’ll connect you!

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

I’m Olivia and I live in Northfield, Birmingham. I was previously living in London, however for the past 7 years I have been living in Birmingham (moved here at around 12 or 13 years old) so I’ve spent the majority of my teenage years here in Birmingham. I am currently a speaker for youth political literacy and co-lead for Inclusive Growth at the West Midlands Combined Authority Youth Board.

Olivia - Community Call Out

Meet Olivia, she’s a speaker for youth political literacy and co-lead for Inclusive Growth at the WMCA Youth Board.

What is your experience with youth culture in Birmingham?

My personal experience of the youth culture in Birmingham is good but can be much better.

In terms of things to do in Birmingham, there isn’t a lot out there, so a lot of the time you have to ‘make your own’ fun in a way. With it being one of the youngest cities in the UK, you can see what the issue of not having much to do can cause – boredom can make anyone do anything just to have something to do.

What Inspired you to be so passionate about youth culture?

Being on the youth board [West Midlands Combined Authority Youth Board] really opened my eyes to a lot of issues that we face. Prior to joining the team, I wasn’t really interested and engaged in youth culture and young people. But as I made more connections with people in the city and spoke to a lot more young people outside of my secondary school, a spark was lit that made me become passionate for youth empowerment and getting young people to realise that there is so much more than Birmingham; just getting people to dream bigger has always been important to me.

What do you think can be done to improve issues like Anxiety and Depression that many young people face today?

One of the best things to do in my opinion is to talk about it more. As much as we currently talk about mental health I believe it is still seen as a taboo subject. Even being able to speak to your friends about personal issues can be a difficult thing to do. Putting systems in place and organisations that help young people deal with these situations would prevent an uprise in mental illness. Encouraging therapy and counselling within schools and colleges also helps – these things usually have bad connotations in youth culture but are actually very helpful and needed.

I think having places that are run by young people would help those dealing with these issues. They would be more comfortable with speaking to someone around the same age as them.

So, what are your future goals?

I’m very interested in public speaking. I would love to become an international speaker and hold workshops around the globe for young people. I know what it’s like to not be pushed.

I’d like to start my own organisation to mentor and work with young people; to go into schools and do mental health workshops there.

As young people we should take advantage of social media – it’s free and widely accessible. However, we shouldn’t get sucked into it. The thing with social media is people only show you what they want you to see. You’re only seeing the picture-perfect version of somebody and their life, which could lower someone’s self esteem. Everyone is on their own path of life so we shouldn’t feel envious because the time will come as long as the work is being put in.


If you’re interested in what Olivia has spoken about, drop us a DM on @MotiveBHX, or contact Lyfeproof UK to connect you.


Interviewer: Jonathan