We can’t believe it either! What an incredible 4 years. In case you don’t know, we’re not just a magazine! We’re a whole host of other goodness! We’re a registered charity training teenagers in life skills – in things like how to speak with people, deal with deadlines and ultimately, how to get a job. The young people involved with Xplode actually apply what they’re taught through creating this very magazine and it’s this valuable work experience that gives them the skills to be better people! Over 500 young people have used us in the past 4 years and 400 of those are in the past year alone.
As the Chief Executive, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this ‘looking back’ article. In 2011, I took a bold decision to set up Xplode Magazine as a constituted community group and I’ve not looked back since! At the time, the negative press coverage of young people was at a staggering 57% and I wanted to change that. I gathered a group of friends and we thought by being part of the press, we can achieve our goals – our mission was set. We then delivered training sessions, built our networks and moved fast to publish magazines to our 500 readers at that time.
In January 2014 we started talking about formalising our structure and becoming a registered charity and by Mid-February, we were awarded with CIO status – again moving fast. This official recognition further cements our position in becoming a permanent fixture campaigning for the positive representations of young people which allows us to focus on our impact.
I’m incredibly proud to have worked with just under 70 young people last year who are so talented, motivated and driven to do more in their communities – they just need a boost of confidence, which comes from the raw motivation of having their voice listened to – and that confidence delivers change.
Young people are our future, it’s only right if we set them up correctly, even if it’s in times of high youth unemployment, a real lack of positivity surrounding young people, and the negative press that brainwashes adults into labelling young people – it must stop and we’re here to stop it. We must be bold, move fast and focus on our impact.
The past 4 years have been an absolute whirlwind. Normally, we hold an event every year to celebrate our successes but this year we thought we’d inject that funding into creating an enviable workspace for our volunteers and we’ve certainly achieved that!
Here are some incredible statistics from this past 12 months!
As you can see, Xplode has grown massively and our next steps are to continue to Be Bold, Move Fast and Focus on our Impact!
- A survey indexing the thoughts of young people on certain topics will be launched;
- A brand new mobile app will be launched to put the Xplode offering ‘all in one place’ – website, magazine, video, audio and job tools;
- Our training packages will be developed further for nationwide impact;
- An increase in business partnerships;
- The application of a quality mark thoroughly assessing Xplode’s policies, procedures and ways of working – to ensure we are transparent and working to the best of our abilities through sound and tested procedure;
- More young people to be involved in Xplode through the development of our Work Experience programme with Manchester based, OneEducation;
- New, small-scale youth-led projects working across Greater Manchester to better the lives of its residents.