After returning from Finland in July, I gave a Skype interview with Bob, G0FGX from TX Factor as well as Martin, M1MRB from the ICQ Amateur Radio Podcast. I discussed the activities that we had been doing in Finland and also the feeling from the UK team members in Finland that there should be a space for young amateurs in the UK to get their voice heard. Whilst I was in Finland, YOTA UK was happening simultaneously and the feeling there was much the same; that there should be a group of young amateurs who can represent our collective views and help to encourage more youngsters into the hobby.
It was put to Steve Hartley, G0FUW the then chairman of the RSGB Training and Education committee that perhaps such a committee should be formed within the RSGB. Having a “Youth Committee” within the RSGB would give young amateurs in the UK a clear voice, being part of the hobby’s largest national organisation and ensure that the RSGB would be able to target and meet the needs of young amateurs. Steve was very sympathetic to our cause, as he was responsible for helping to organise YOTA UK as well as select a team to attend YOTA Finland.
It was in early September that the RSGB board approved the formation of a committee to represent young members and the committee was to be known as the Youth Committee. Members of the Youth Committee were to be under 26 years old and members of the RSGB. Membership is free to RSGB members under the age of 18 and free if under 25 and in full-time education. The committee’s principle aims are to be responsible for establishing and organising youth participation in events (YOTA etc.) as well as to promote amateur radio to young people in the UK and to increase the number of young RSGB members. Applications to become a member of the committee opened up in early September and after a number of weeks, Mike Jones 2E0MLJ was appointed as Chairman of the committee. I also applied to become a member of the committee and was elected a few weeks after submitting my application. After the committee’s first official meeting on the 26th November, I volunteered to take on the role of Financial Advisor and was also elected into this position at the next meeting on the 15th December.
The future now looks very bright for young amateurs and I’m grateful to the RSGB board for giving us this platform in which to promote the hobby to young people and also to assist the RSGB in their approach to attracting more youngsters.
You can find out more information about the Youth Committee and their aims/projects here, as well as read the minutes from the committee’s meetings. The Youth Committee meets monthly on Skype, usually on the 3rd Monday of the month.