Why You Should Join The Youth Voice Forum
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At NCS, we have one mission - to inspire generations of citizens through shared experiences that develop character and bridge social divides. And to do this, we make sure to listen to young people from all over the country and use their experiences, ideas and feedback to shape what we do, why we do it, and how we do it.
In 2020, we set up our Youth Voice Forum to help us get closer to our mission every day.
WHAT IS THE YOUTH VOICE FORUM?
The Youth Voice Forum - or YVF - is a group of young people who work alongside us within key areas and teams, and help us make important decisions, ensure youth voice is always considered in everything we do and create a positive impact for thousands of other young people across England. Some of the members have already taken part in our experiences, and some haven’t, so we get a really varied collection of thoughts and ideas!
“Being on the YVF, you can make change for others, locally, nationally or even internationally. But you can also make a change to yourself. Being a part of the YVF you learn so much knowledge and gain confidence which are transferable across everything in day to day life.” - Cara, VYF Member
HOW DOES THE YOUTH VOICE FORUM WORK?
The Forum works on a twelve-month cycle, so you'll be part of our team for a year, keeping us accountable towards our mission, and ensuring that we are successful in creating a country of connected, confident and caring citizens. You’ll work closely with our teams, give us feedback and ideas on important projects that we do, meet with our Senior Leadership Team and Royal Charter Body Board to influence the decisions that they make, speak in workshops and events, and act as an advocate for young people and NCS. You’ll provide meaningful participation and development opportunities for young people, and meet with the other YVF members every four to six weeks to share feedback and updates on what you’ve been up to.
“The YVF felt like an incredible way to bring my opinions to the table in a safe space, and with people that I know truly care about youth input. It also felt different (in the best way) to any other youth opportunities I’d taken part in as the structure and way of working aimed to place young people at the forefront of discussions in a way that I had never seen before.” - Kiera, VYF Member
“It's got everything you need to develop on both a professional and personal level, it will challenge you to think creatively and unlock hidden potential within you. You are heard, supported, and cared about, and the useful connections can help you specialise in an area you care about.” - Shakeel, YVF Member
WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME?
Not only will you be helping us amplify the wants, needs and experiences of young people, but we’ll make sure your personal development is just as important. We’ll give you:
- Bespoke training
- Development days and workshops
- Personal mentoring and the opportunity to reverse mentor
- Paid and unpaid working opportunities
- Insight into professional ways of working
- Professional development opportunities
- Opportunities to shadow and visit NCS programmes
- Networking with external stakeholders opportunities
- Advocating experiences for young people and NCS at events
- Access to other sector roles and opportunities
- Professional and personal references of engagement and impact
“You meet a lot of people who come from different backgrounds and journeys, and it's really inspiring to hear about their achievements and passions and get to develop further alongside them. ” - Hayden, YVF Member
“The YVF gives you a safe space to voice your opinions and have discussions on issues that matter. This also puts you in a unique position to learn about other people's experiences. Being a part of the YVF exposes you to new people from many different backgrounds and sets you up to make new friends!” - Yasin, VYF Member
WHAT CHANGES CAN YOU MAKE?
By sharing your point of view and ideas you’ll help us make significant changes in the lives of young people all over the country. Here are some of the ways our current Youth Voice Forum members have helped implement change:
“I have worked on several Equality, Diversity & Inclusion projects, including one to shape an ELearning resource for future programme leaders.” - Lissie
“I had the opportunity to travel to Strasbourg to be a Youth Delegate at the World Forum for Democracy. With NCS's recommendation and backing I was able to spend a week with like-minded young people discussing the climate emergency and what democracy can do to save the environment. I have also attended a meeting in Westminster, supplying political figures and varying CEOs with a young person’s perspective on what can be done to not only get young people into work, but to also help them make a difference.“ - Cara
“I have had the opportunity to speak in front of the NCS Board on the importance of youth empowerment. This not only helped me build up my confidence but also allowed me to be part of discussions about the development of NCS post COVID-19.“ - Yasin
“One of my goals for the YVF was to advocate for Young Carers’ voices and so one of the greatest influences I believe I’ve had has been on projects surrounding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), particularly those focused on exploring ways for Young Carers to engage in NCS programmes, as well as feel supported whilst on them.” - Kiera
“For National Interfaith Week, NCS hosted a panel discussion that brought together a fantastic group of speakers including myself. I was thrilled to share my personal reflections on how youth organisations can support young people when navigating questions about faith and belief.” - Shakeel
“I feel that if people had unconscious bias or stereotypes for young Black boys and/or people from South London I have potentially been able to change their minds about them, since I fall into both of those categories.” - Jonas
SO, HOW DO I JOIN?
There are a few ways you can get involved in the next cycle of our Youth Voice Forum! The deadline to apply is January 31 2022.
Write an application
If you like to express yourself through writing, then this may be the way for you to apply. All you have to do is click on the application form, enter your details, and answer the questions directly on the form.
We would recommend that you type out your answers onto a separate document first so you can save and come back to it later, before submitting your application. We wouldn’t want you to lose any progress that you make!
Record a video
You may feel that speaking and presenting is your strong point, so why not record and upload a short video. All you you have to do is:
- Set up your phone or other recording device on a stable surface
- When you start recording, introduce yourself
- Answer each question outlined in the form clearly
- Save and upload your video to the application form
- Make sure your video is no longer than three minutes long
Speak to us on the phone
If neither of the above options are for you, we can give you a call. We’ll ask you a few questions about yourself and take notes as you answer, it’s as easy as that. All you need to do is:
- Click on the application form and enter your details
- When asked how you would like to apply, tick ‘by phone call’
- Wait for us to get in touch with you to coordinate a suitable date and time
So what are you waiting for?
You can find more information about the Youth Voice Forum here.