Our Youth Voice Staff Champions actively support young people to have their voices heard, but each employee within our charity has a role to play. We follow the Lundy Model of Participation (space, voice, audience, influence). We actively consult with young people, share feedback with Career Connect managers and stakeholders, and gather their responses to the issues raised.
Key to our approach is our Youth Agreement, created in partnership with young people, which outlines what any young person should expect from us when they engage with our service.
This year we have been joined by our first Youth Ambassadors, 12 young people who are at the heart of our Youth Voice.
Our current cohort of Ambassadors come from a variety of areas across the Northwest including Sefton, Liverpool, Wirral, and Manchester with ages ranging from 16-21. We also have a mixture of diverse backgrounds and experiences, so each Ambassador offers a unique outlook on the situations affecting young people.
The group meets monthly to discuss key issues that young people are facing, discuss things they believe should change, and receive training to develop their skills.
Some areas of change that have been influenced by the Ambassadors include:
- The focus of our research work
- The development of branding to reach young people not in education, employment or training
- The support we are currently offering to young people.
Our Ambassadors have also submitted their views to the Youth Select Committee open inquiry into the rising cost of living’s impact on young people, and responded to the 2023 Youth Census and had articles with their views published on the Career Connect website.
Some of them even saw themselves on the big screens at Goodison Park, representing Career Connect!
What our Ambassadors say:
“I want to be a Youth Ambassador so young people can have their voices heard and achieve the same things as everyone else regardless of mental health issues and/or disabilities.”
Sophia, 17, Manchester.
“I chose to be a Youth Ambassador so adopted young people can have a voice so older people can understand them.”
“Young people deserve to be listened to just as much as adults because they will one day become adults and have that responsibility so it would be better to help them embrace that earlier rather than later, so they aren’t just lost when that responsibility hits them.”
Jane, 16, Sefton.