During YAP’s 2023 National Event in August, an ‘ideas box’ was left out for attendees to submit poems, feedback and other writings over the course ofd the day.

One such submission was the following feedback from an anonymous advocate who described their experiences as both a young person in the YAP programme, as well as an advocate. The testimonial is a moving piece, highlighting what can be achieved by those in the programme; whether they be a young person, family member or advocate:

”It’s great to be here today,

I’ve been lucky enough to experience YAP as a Young Person & now as an advocate.

I didn’t have it very easy growing up, I dropped out of school, had no self belief and really never expected that I would achieve anything. My advocate helped me see a better way to manage my moods and emotions and develop better ways to deal with people and difficult situations.

My advocate helped me with doing Youthreach, and for the first time, I felt I could achieve more.

I finished, had a daughter and knew that I needed to set a good example for her, so I went and done further training and went to work in residential care for a year.

Then it occurred to me that what I could be really good at is being the kind of person I needed as a confused young person.

By becoming an advocate I aim to support young people to develop their own life skills and have the ability to recognise and have the confidence to take any opportunity offered to them.

Two weeks ago I was offered a college place. I never could have imagined as a young person that I would be in this position. Without YAP’s support I don’t believe I would , so my advice is always to take the support offered by your advocates and never doubt what any of you’s can achieve.

Thank you.”