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Mayumi Staunton takes on new challenge

14 Jul 2022

On Monday 18th July, Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Finalists will take to the stage of the Cambridge Theatre and share their speeches for the last time in this competition.

Every year we have the privilege of listening to the passionate voices of thousands of young people. Every speech is unique and inspiring in its own way, making it an incredibly tough decision to determine who the next Jack Petchey “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Champion will be. Fortunately, we will be joined by our esteemed panel of judges who are taking on this difficult job. The panel consists of politicians, athletes, presenters, and influencers all known for using their voices to create change. They will judge the competition based on Content, Delivery & Structure and thereby determine who will be crowned the 2022 “Speak Out” Challenge! Champion!

In no particular order, let’s meet the judges! 

Mayumi Staunton won the 2021 Jack Petchey’s “Speak Out” Challenge! Grand Final with her feminist speech, “Sorry, Not Sorry”. Mayumi believes “finding your voice is a process that is ongoing and continuous no matter your age or experience.”

We asked Mayumi, in your experience, what does it mean to find your voice?

I think you ‘find your voice’ a little bit more every time you speak out or make your opinion on a subject known. Through this competition, the finalists are finding their voice in a big way – but you can also find your voice through small moments in your daily life! Personally, I think finding your voice is a process that is ongoing and continuous no matter your age or experience. 

Why is empowering young people important to you?

We are often told to ‘have an opinion’ but not given a space to showcase it, or make an impact on anything. Empowering young people is so important because it helps us reach our full potential while also contributing to others development as well. Young people have so many new ideas and perspectives on the world that can only amount to change if they are given the power to make change! 

What does communication mean to you?

To me, communication is about making your opinion known but being willing to hear other people’s and compromise! Communication is about openness to opposing perspectives, or even just new un-heard of ideas. 

Thinking about our young speakers, how can they provoke the change they want to see in the world?

I think the speakers are already making a change- whether they feel like they are or not! They’re bringing new perspective to people who otherwise may have never considered the topic they’ve chosen to speak on! They’re also building their own confidence which will help them bring change in the future! If they want to provoke change, I think they should actively search out opportunities to do so! Maybe take part in a debate club at school, or volunteer at a charity or even discuss their ideas for change with the school! Change is incremental and not something a young person can just “do” but if they work hard and are passionate they can build up to great change!