Posts Tagged ‘youth advisory board’
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!
Craig Priestley tells us why he’s proud of what the YAB have achieved and how other young people inspire him.
Inspiring young people to volunteer is one of the main goals of vInspired. So as a member of the Youth Advisory Board (or YAB) our main goal has been to show volunteering to other young people. But I found that more than me inspiring young people, young people inspired me to keep promoting the good work of vInspired.
House of Reeves
Over my year as a YAB member I’ve been involved in many events and programmes to show off the talents of young people. There are so many stories I could tell to illustrate this. As part of the Do Something Reverse Riots campaign, I visited House of Reeves in Croydon a year on from the riots to see the outside covered in images of over 4000 young people. Each one showed positive things they have done in their communities. I don’t need to sell doing good things to young people there already doing them – being part of their communities, caring for people and their area.
Changing the world one campaign at a time
A community getting together is always great to see, and our Team V leaders experienced this each time they gathered local support to complete a campaign. I was there at every step of the way – watching the group go from interview, to residential training, running events to be proud of in their local communities. Now a year on I’ve just watched the interviews for the next 100 young leaders as they take on the challenge to change the world one campaign at a time.
We are all part of a community, and we are part of Great Britain. We were all proud to be part of the Olympics’ host nation and proud of how our Team GB athletes performed. We should also be proud of the way Great Britain’s young people are performing in their day-to-day lives.
Let’s be proud stand up and show what young people are doing – be it one of are many programmes at vInspired or volunteering anywhere.
The year of my life
I had the year of my life working for a great charity, and being involved in such great work. I’m proud of all the young people I met, read about or spoke to. You made it such great year. Never be ashamed to be a young person – I’m not!
My year as YAB may be nearly over, but my work with vInspired is not and my work to promote volunteering will never end.
… and in with the new
We have just recruited our new YAB. Find out about what these 12 bright young things are getting up to on our blog in the next few weeks. Zetia
As I’ve said many times before vInspired is led by the interests, cares and passions of young people!
And every year we recruit, fun, dynamic and inspiring young people to sit on our National Youth Advisory Board.
Were looking for young people from all around the country Lyndhurst to Lands-end, Peterborough to Peckham, Newgate to Gateshead.
So why should you apply??
Well firstly, you get the opportunity to learn about and benefit yourself, by inputting on our work and taking part in meaningful and enjoyable opportunities within a national charity.
Sounds exciting right?!
Secondly you’ll meet new people, steer the direction of the charity, and push yourself creatively to really make a difference to the work of the organisation.
In essence you can benefit both our charity and yourself – but perhaps most importantly youll have the opportunity to have a positive impact on thousands of young people all across the country.
As one of our current members, Craig puts it:
“Being part of Youth Advisory Board at vInspired has given me a chance to have my say on how young people should be supported, whilst learning new skills, and helping me to find my future career path. I recommend it for anyone who wants to show the world that young people and volunteering is the way forward!”
Recruitment for vInspired Youth Advisory Board members is now open.
This opportunity is open to all young people aged 16-25, and we are looking for a diverse mix of young people to work with us from September 2012. We want you to apply…
Full application form and guidance notes are available over on the website.
The BYC said:
“The BYC is rewarding vInspired for the role it has played in making itself youth led through its team of young advisors, advocates and ambassadors…They have enabled the voice of young people to shine through as the board supported vInspired to develop vInspired.com,vInspired.org and a range of innovative social media platforms connecting young people to volunteering opportunities in their local community.”
At vInspired, we’ve always had a history of putting young people at the heart of all our work, at all levels. It’s part of our culture and organisational DNA, so this award means a lot to everyone involved.
Youth on Board or YOB Awards are an exclusively youth-led rolling award scheme that recognises both young people and the projects and organisations that support them. The Youth led award recognises youth-led organisations that are providing a platform for young people and young voices making a difference at a local, national or international level.
vinspired’s Youth Advisory Board plays a major role in the development of the charity and its work. The young people on the advisory board act as a constant sounding board for us, making sure we hear young people’s voices loud and clear.
Some of biggest and best projects have resulted from suggestions which came out of the Youth Advisory Board, projects such as our youth-funding programme, Cashpoint, to high profile campaigns like ‘I ♥ Volunteering’ and many more.
vInspired aims to create a collaborative partnership between staff and young volunteers, recognising that we can all learn from each other. In order to ensure youth participation we flex our working practices and culture in order to accommodate the inclusion of young people in decision-making processes.
If you would like to hear more about youth involvement at vInspired, please feel free to contact me.
You can also follow updates from the YAB on Twitter.
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, 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!
Upon meeting vinspired’s Youth Advisory Board, I was amazed at what a clever, creative and innovative bunch of people they were and what a valuable asset they all were to a young people’s charity. It got me thinking: why aren’t groups like this being set up and used in the commercial sector? For example, retail.
It’s common practice for businesses to hold focus groups in order to gain a better understanding of their customers’ needs and behaviours. But most of the time, these people are complete strangers with very little understanding of how the business operates internally.
Last month, the ‘Queen of Shops’, Mary Portas warned that the high street is in serious decline and that many businesses needed to innovate or face extinction.
Having your own youth board specifically tied to improving business performance throughout the organisation may be the breath of fresh air that many industries need in this economic climate.
Sir Philip Green announced last month that he’s closing around 250 of his Arcadia stores, with almost a third of employees being young 16-24 years old.
But businesses need to think very carefully before they lay off their young staff – especially if (in Philip Green’s case) they are the company’s primary customer base. Their grass roots experience may just hold that golden nugget in keeping your business alive in 2012.
With the online retail sector looking to break the £56 billion mark by 2014, businesses need to take advantage of the new digitally savvy members of Generation Y/Z and use their fresh perspectives and innovative ideas to move forward. Setting up your own youth board may be the answer.
They say the children are the future, but they are also your customers – listen or lose ‘em.
At vinspired we have a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) for a reason. They don’t just hang around to look good, they get their hands dirty too…
On Friday 9th December the Board came to vinspired’s office in London to meet with staff and get involved in their work. The morning session began with the YAB looking at and feeding ideas into an important bid which our programmes team are working on.
This was a great warm up for what was to follow. The YAB fed in ideas for the design of our future vision for vinspired to propose to our trustees in the new year. This proved to be a really great opportunity for the team to get their teeth sunk in to a really important piece of ongoing work here. Their input has laid the foundations for the charity’s future development and ensures that young people’s views genuinely inform the direction we take going forward.
Young people really are at the heart of what we do here at vinspired. They continue to work alongside our Senior Management Team and our board of trustees; and going into 2012 and beyond we’re very confident that the Youth Advisory Board will ensure young people’s needs, wants and aspirations are at the forefront of our work.
We will be keeping you posted on the developments and the work that the YAB are doing over the coming months. Watch this space! In the meantime, you can follow us @vinspiredYAB for latest news from the team and information about how you can get involved.
The National Young Volunteers Service
Welcome to the vInspired blog! Keep updated with the latest news, volunteering tips and advice and hear about great opportunities on vinspired.com. This is also a space for young volunteers to share their experiences and express views on the things that matter to them. Want to write here? Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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