Posts Tagged ‘YAB’
Last weekend we finally got to meet our brand new Youth Advisory Board! After interviewing each of them three weeks beforehand, we were eager to get to know the twelve young people who will be instrumental in the inner workings of vInspired for the next year. And we were not disappointed with our choices.
The beauty of this year’s Youth Advisory Board is its diversity. They all have different opinions, have been shaped by different experiences and each of them bring a unique perspective to the group, and to vInspired.
The skills each member could share with the group ranged from balloon modelling, to fundraising, to how to keep an MP talking on a tube ride (and get him to agree to support your event!).
And they were super keen to get involved in our upcoming opportunities…as soon as our sign-up sheet was posted, they were crowding round it like bears to a honeypot. Which was great, because we have loads of amazing opportunities for the YAB to get involved in this year!
Keeping young people at the heart of our work
The Youth Advisory Board, as the name suggests, advise and feedback on vInspired projects, campaign ideas, business plans and fundraising initiatives. But there is so much more to being a on the YAB, and our upcoming opportunities reflect that.
They have the chance to get involved with Team v campaign development, give their opinions on how they think young people would want to fundraise and dive straight into the political party conferences!
It’s going to be a pretty busy year, particularly the next few months, but the enthusiasm, skills and drive that the YAB exhibited this weekend means I’m not worried about their ability to succeed.
Newspaper kangaroos and nicknames
In order to give the YAB a break from all the new information they were receiving, we had some fun on Saturday night, and went out for Italian food and then to the London Eye. The views were beautiful: London at sunset is something else. And major kudos go out to Sam, who is terrified of heights, but insisting on facing her fear and coming on the Eye with us all!
Our icebreakers (including making a kangaroo out of balloons and newspaper—complete with a baby joey in a pouch!) were a great start for getting to know each other, cemented by having some fun on Saturday night.
By the next morning the newbies had really bonded as a group, with new nicknames for some and in-jokes galore – none of which Gary, our Youth Involvement Coordinator, or I understood!
The weekend whizzed by and I’m sure the YAB are currently suffering from information overload, but they did a truly spectacular job of absorbing information and getting to know vInspired.
I am incredibly excited to see what these young people can do, and I hope they are each as excited for their year ahead. We’ll be hearing more from each of the new YAB very soon – watch this space!
Since I started on the Youth Advisory Board (YAB), the focus of a lot of our work has centred on Team v – from the promotion of it in the early days, through to interviews and all the way through to helping at the residential weekends. But, I wanted to see first-hand some of the activities they run curing their campaigns, so thought I would pay one a visit….
Sunday 4th March 2012 saw me head into London and the Covent Garden Hotel for Luke Harris’ event. The rain poured outside, but nothing could dampen anyone’s spirits.
We started the day by picking up the 24 guests from two separate pick up points. Getting talking to them was great – they all had such amazing things to say and stories to tell.
It just made me upset to think that this forgotten generation doesn’t always have people to talk to in this way and people to actually listen.
When I arrived back at the hotel with one of the groups and they realised another bus was coming, they seemed really excited. It dawned on me that these people don’t always get to be social with a wide range of people for reasons that are not in their control and I realised the importance of the afternoon for them.
We all had chance to talk to them and they got to interact with new people over afternoon tea. The great buzz in the room could be felt by everyone. They enjoyed the new surroundings and were really impressed by the viewing room when we took them into to watch the film classic, ‘Singing in the Rain’. It was a nice, intimate setting for everyone to have fun and have a giggle as one. And the choice of movie definitely went down well!
Then as quickly as it started, the day was over and the guests headed home. The best part for me was hearing them say “thank you” and to see on their faces how much the afternoon out had meant to them. I hope in the future more events like this will be organised by local authorities and groups.
A big “well done” has to go out to Luke. You were great and organised everything well and kept a calm head when things didn’t quite go to plan. From what I saw, you made 24 elderly people very happy!
This is just one example of the many brilliant events and activities that have been put on by our Team v leaders as part of their latest campaign to tackle loneliness and isolation among older people.
This weekend, participants will be meeting up at a residential gathering in Birmingham to feedback on the success of the campaign – and hear all about what they’ll be campaigning on for campaign 3. Stay tuned for further details next week!
Teri is a member of the vInspired Youth Advisory Board.
I’m writing this blog with three hats on my head; one as vInspired Youth Advisory Board member, two as recent graduate who benefitted massively from my experiences of volunteering whilst a student (despite only starting in the last 6 months of my degree) and three as an employee of an organisation that was involved with Student Volunteering Week this year.
The benefits of students engaging with their local community can never be understated as it creates an awareness of life outside of the student’s own world. This creates empathy, greater understanding and in my opinion aids personal development in ways that theoretical class room based learning never can.
It’s through this that students of all ages learn real citizenship and life skills so often lacking from school curriculums, colleges and university life. Student volunteering is all about bringing together all parts of society to aid each other and this should never be forgotten.
The employability enhancement side of volunteering is something that will have been mentioned loads last week in trying to entice students into volunteering. The confidence levels and practical hands on work experience that student volunteering can give is invaluable. At a time when graduates are still being churned out at record levels during a period of high youth unemployment, students need more than just their hard earned and valued qualifications.
Student volunteering is also a quick and easy way to try out something new, meet new people and test out different career paths. It can fill a CV and covering letter with practical examples of student’s talents and capabilities.
However, having worked throughout Student Volunteering Week I still feel there is more that can be done. There are still too many students who have never thought of volunteering, who are unaware of its advantages and what it can provide.
But one of the dangers I feel student volunteering faces in the next few years and which I heard a lot of last week working in a non-Redbrick Students’ Union, is the socio economic challenges faced by many students due to the recession. Many hard-pressed students are only really after paid work rather than volunteering opportunities as they desperately need money to pay their way not just for them but their families too.
Or they are working so many hours already that they just have no time left to volunteer. It is here where there needs to be a big rethink both on how our economy works and how to better engage with non-traditional student types (mature, student parents etc.) in order to allow more students to be able to get involved in future Student Volunteering Weeks.
Lee Marsham is a member of the Youth Advisory Board at vInspired.
On January 16th the vInspired Youth Advisory Board (YAB) descended on the London offices for an exciting day of obscure facts, time travel to 2016 (as you do) and speaking to the DCLG. The day started off on an interesting note with the revelation that a certain YAB member, who will remain anonymous, once had a chip, yes a chip, stuck up his nose for over a month. Once the revelations had finished and the ice was truly broken, the YAB got down to the serious business of the day.
Today the YAB were presenting their vision of what vInspired should look like by 2016. I have to say from watching the team practice and prepare their presentation, I was blown away not only by their ideas, but by their passion for vInspired, youth volunteering, and their belief in what vInspired can achieve in just a few years.
Although I didn’t see Ryan, Flo and Matt in action in front of the trustees, the feedback they, and the rest of the group (who all contributed brilliant ideas for the vision), received was universally fantastic. Not only did they manage to energise what otherwise would have been a rather boring long meeting, but the trustees and SMT were so enthused by the YAB vision that their ideas will take a leading role in the direction vInspired takes in the next few years. Not bad for a day’s work!
The second half of the day was spent with representatives from the Riots Communities and Victim’s Panel from the Department for Local Communities and Government (DCLG). The DCLG has been tasked with trying to understand why the summer riots happened, and ways to prevent future disturbances, with the results to be delivered directly to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition. The DCLG wanted to hold a consultation with a group of young people who are engaged and proactive in their communities, and who better to speak to than vInspired’s YAB.
There were plenty of strong opinions expressed as the DCLG representatives quizzed members of the YAB on why some young people have high aspirations and are inspired to make a difference and their views on whether young people have enough access to opportunities for work and study at the moment. The YAB had a lot of constructive things to say about youth unemployment and some brilliant suggestions on how opportunities and employment prospects for young people could be improved, especially through encouraging volunteering. It will be interesting to see what the DCLG make of this meeting and whether or not the government listens….
For me Monday’s meeting with the YAB was genuinely insightful and interesting. I was really impressed with how young people at vInspired have so much influence in the charity. With rising youth unemployment and youth service’s being hit hard by spending cuts, the picture is pretty gloomy for young people right now, and the next few years are undeniably going to be challenging. However, with the YAB offering such fresh ideas and perspectives on these issues vInspired is better able to engage and help more young people develop skills and improve their life chances, whilst making a difference in their community.
Well 2012 is up and running and I’ve been reflecting on my hopes and fears for the year ahead.
2011 was supposed to be the year of UK and global action for young people. It was a year in which I got a degree – but unfortunately, like so many other young people struggling to find work, have not been able to use it.
Worrying youth unemployment figures dominated the news and were a real talking point at last month’s Youth Advisory Board meeting. So many young people are struggling as I am, to get long-term work and facing the prospect of being among the first generations not able to afford housing and have the financial freedoms of our parents’ generation.
Looking at the bleak unemployment figures, combined with the bad press received over the summer’s riots, you’d be forgiven for thinking that 2011 wasn’t a great year for young people – and 2012 doesn’t hold much promise either.
But I’d like for a moment, to focus on the positive contributions that young people have made to society in the past year and will continue to make in 2012, in spite of the challenges they face.
For instance, the work that our Teamv projects carry out across the country, shows that plenty of young people really do care about helping others, are passionate about society and are contributing something positive to their community and themselves.
One of last year’s national award winners, Kirsty Ashton, has gone on to receive an MBE in the New Year’s honours list – showing that young people who challenge themselves and work hard enough really can get the positive public recognition they deserve.
For young people, the act of volunteering is a brilliant way to do some good for others – but also in the current climate, it’s a great opportunity for self-development and building recognition to strengthen your CV. A look over the inspiring stories of this year’s regional award winners is evidence of this.
Looking back, 2011 had plenty of bad news. We are in hard times. But I sit here knowing that our spirit and determination to do good through volunteering is as strong as ever. I don’t think we should focus on the fact that 2011 was supposedly the “year of action” for young people – because every year should be seen as a year for young people to flourish and take action.
In 2012, we should continue to fight negative public perceptions and show that we care, through doing good and bringing about positive change.
Well, what a task the Youth Advisory Board has on its hands!
As we all know, money makes the world go round. vinspired is an independent charity that needs money to ensure its many successful projects continue to support young people all over the country.
It does seem like a huge challenge – but as Winston Churchill once said: “out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge”. And just what has emerged as one of the solutions for vinspired? Good old fashioned community fundraising, led by none other than the Youth Advisory Board!
I’ve been working alongside vinspired’s Commercial Relations team as we explore community fundraising for the first time. And there have been many, many positive outcomes, culminating in a community fundraising strategy.
Community fundraising is going to be of vital importance to us for a number of reasons. Firstly, spreading the word about all the amazing things the charity does for young people is going to have an impact on the amount of people hearing about vinspired, which will hopefully mean increased donations and number of 14-25s accessing volunteering opportunities through our website.
Secondly, community fundraising really brings people together and offers the opportunity to connect with other individuals in your local area with similar interests and values – it’s called COMMUNITY fundraising for a reason! One of the best things about raising money is that you realise just how many people believe in supporting a good cause and want to get involved to help you. It restores your faith in people, in a way.
And finally, local fundraising brings about a real sense of accomplishment and being valued by the community. To have been faced with a problem and worked together to overcome it and see a real tangible result – it really does fill you with a sense of pride and spur you on to do other great things.
So this is the work that everyone in the Youth Advisory Board is hoping will help vinspired continue to carry out its amazing work with young people. Watch this space for more details on our project!