Our Youth Board
Our youth board is collective of young people aged 16-25, who together support the work of London Youth as either Ambassadors or Advisors. They represent young people from different backgrounds, living in boroughs across the capital. Each of them belongs to a youth organisation within our network so they know first-hand the positive effect youth work has.
All members of the board act as Young Ambassadors. Some members of the youth board have also chosen to take on the additional responsibility to become Young Advisors. These young people are regularly involved in organisational decision making and development throughout London Youth, such as sitting on recruitment panels and being involved with our Trustees.
Every young person on the board is passionate about representing youth people’s views, pushing for change and better opportunities for their fellow Londoners.
Journeys from the youth board
Orla, Youth Board 2019 Alumni Member
I started mountain-biking for fun at my youth club when I was five years old. The club is run by local volunteers and they encouraged me to join the British Cycling Volunteer Programme through which I qualified as a coach at 16.
I joined Dare London having been to Woodrow High House with my club. I wanted to join a committee to do something meaningful and felt I could bring an outer London perspective. I took part in accredited Leadership training on Dare London residentials, attended policy meetings with London Assembly members and spent a summer working at Woodrow High House which was my first experience of going to work.
I’ve also been a young Quality Mark Assessor, accompanying London Youth membership development officers to member clubs. That was really interesting to see the other side of youth work and understand what youth clubs have to do in order to deliver youth services.
Looking back, my time with London Youth gave me such a confidence boost. Being invited to places of power like City Hall was really empowering and it felt like I was part of making change. The experience has led me to join a national youth board whilst in the first year of my degree course and I’m now considering a future career in youth work.
Maya, Youth Board 2021 Alumni Member
I started going to my youth club at age 4 and first got involved with London Youth when I did their City Leaders social action programme with a group of young people in my local community. We pitched for funding to organise a trampolining trip and secure music equipment for our club, along with producing T-shirts that we sold to raise money for our club.
Joining Dare London has made me less shy as I’ve met so many new people from across London. It’s showed me how youth involvement can work well in charities. A personal highlight has been joining a debating event at City Hall where I learnt professional debating techniques. After that I set up a debating club at my local primary school to help other children to express their views well in everyday life.
The bravest thing I’ve done at 15 was to give a keynote speech at a black tie event in front of a large audience of influential people. It was intimidating but I’d worked hard on my speech with London Youth and loved having the opportunity to tell my truth. Having done that, I feel like I can do anything now!
All of my experiences with London Youth have taught me push myself forward and not just think it, do it.
Jaykoda, Youth Board 2021 Alumni Member
I’ve attended my youth club since I was ten. I was so shy back then and London Youth’s City Leaders social action programme really grew my confidence. It gave me the opportunity to make positive change by producing kits bags for homeless people in my area which we distributed through the local soup kitchen. We still help out there. It shows young people are good and can make a difference when given the chance.
I joined Dare London at 13 because I wanted to learn more about youth work which I’ve benefited from and to be a voice for young people who don’t have a platform to speak out from. It’s broadened my horizons and made me much more confident and able to express my opinions. Through Dare London, I’ve been to No. 10 and Parliament where I’ve met with MPs, represented London Youth at the City Bridge Trust Chairman’s Dinner at the Old Bailey and came 2nd place in a Jack Petchey Foundation Speak Out challenge where I discussed the impact of domestic violence on young people.
In 2020, I was awarded a London Youth microgrant which enabled me to write and direct my first play. It was stressful and took me six months to complete something I was truly proud of. I hope it will have a long lasting impact by opening people’s eyes to the impact of poor mental health on young people.
Elena, 2022 Alumni Member
I joined my youth club because they were working in my school and I became friends with some girls who went there after school or in breaks. But then, I saw what it was all about and I really loved it.
I got involved with London Youth by taking a leadership role in my youth club and joining London Youth’s City Leaders programme. A big opportunity came where someone had dropped out of giving a speech at an event we were at and so I just did it spontaneously. It was one of the most meaningful things I’d ever spoken about.
It made me want to feel part of something. When I was younger, I always thought there was nothing for us young people. There are all these adults running the world and we have no say in it. If we say anything different, we’re thought badly of. I didn’t like that at all! To find something with the same values made me want to be part of it.
I feel like I have a voice now. One of the scariest things I’ve done was giving the keynote speech at the London Youth Awards at City Hall in 2019. I thought about the world and how much I’ve been pushed back, and it felt like I was fighting back. I felt special because not a lot of people at all get to stand on that stage and say something meaningful. I felt like I was doing the right thing and that it was of benefit to a lot of people. Having London Youth out there, as an institution, is really important. I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Jo-Ash, Youth Board 2021 Alumni Member
My youth club has helped me a lot because I started when I was 11 years old and I was nervous and depressed. I got involved in their summer holiday schemes and youth camps and it help me come out of my comfort zone and able to communicate with young people my age. My youth club gave me the skills needed for future opportunities. Years go past and I’ve become a youth leader, taking responsibility for young people. From that, my youth club is connected to London Youth and I’ve continued moving from Leader to Ambassador through London Youth’s youth board, Dare London, and I’ve made changes around London.
When it comes to young people, it’s important to have employment because with young people it’s not easy getting employed especially London. Personally, I want this experience but I’m glad I went through the experience because I never gave up. London Youth connected me with TalentRISE which is a youth employment charity which launched in 2014 and it’s an organisation that does technology and digital recruitment and has 17 offices globally.
They helped me with my CV, cover letter and my linked in account as well. This organisation helped me find jobs in the tech/digital sector and I was able to have a work placements and internships in IT support, software development and web development. So I want to say a massive thank you to London Youth for my personal growth and the connections they have helped me make for my future career and next steps.
This shows that if I can achieve my goals, so can the rest of young Londoners. We all know that the journey is not easy but what is important is that the journey is important not the destination. Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle. It’s because of London Youth and TalentRISE that made me the young man I am today. It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together.
Young people are the future, if you dream it, you can achieve it.