Emily, Myself & Mia at the WHYFestival in October.
About three years ago, I stumbled upon a charity called Kids in the Middle. I was so impassioned by their cause, but at the time I did not really have the means or time to get involved.
Three years later, upon graduation, I looked them up again.
Renamed to Voices in the Middle, and armed with an amazing youth council & youth team, I jumped on board. I am now the Membership & Fundraising Coordinator, and part of my job is to eventually develop and help to set up a Scottish counterpart to the charity.
The whole aim of the charity is to give a voice to children in the middle of divorce or separation. A luxury very few of us have had in the middle of our family splits. The harsh reality is that in the crux of relationship breakdowns children are ignored, and extremely hurt.
It must be extremely difficult as a parent facing a separation to have your family falling apart around you, but parents need to take time to listen to the little ones in between all of the mess. The innocent ones, who love you both unconditionally. They are the ones you need to be listening to.
Voices in the Middle is a charity run by young people, overseen by a board of trustee’s who keep us right & our project manager Duncan. We run the charity from across the entire country – I’m in Aberdeen, Duncan lives in wales, Emily is in York (just to name a few).
– Uphold the right of the child of separating parents to be listened to when decisions are being made that concern them & to promote different ways of making this possible in family law and mediation.
– To obtain Legal Aid Agency funding to cover the additional costs of child inclusive mediation, where either one or both parents qualify for legally aided mediation.
– To make a widely available and accessible website & social media presence to meet the information needs of children of all ages in separating families.
(Splitting Up: A Child’s Guide to a Grown Up Problem. Courtesy of Mischon De Reya & Place2Be)
Since getting involved with VITM this summer I have:
– Met some incredible people.
– Met with a cabinet minister at Westminster.
– Helped organise and carry out workshops at the WHY festival.
– Visited law firms across the country for meetings.
– Worked with a poet to create content for the website.
– Worked on content for the website.
– Visited London for meetings & events.
– Operated the social media.
– Gained experience working in recruitment of members.
– Worked on the the marketing of the charity to all of our target audiences: family lawyers, mediators, children, and parents.
WHYFestival @ the Southbank Centre, October 2016.
Meeting with Caroline Dinenage, June 2016.
…and each day i’m getting to do new and exciting things, and work with amazing people.
All of which I didn’t realise volunteering and working in charity could offer.
Each month we are looking for young people to tell us their experiences of divorce and separation.
The best ones each month will win £10!