The Diana Award hosted the first residential with the Young Advisors, part of our Future Forward Partnership with Young People, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Continue reading for more details on what exciting things these amazing young people got up to!
Here at The Diana Award, we aim to empower young people to make positive change in their communities, and beyond! We are proud to maintain a youth-focused approach in all aspects of our organisation, which has been aided through our new Future Forward Partnership with Young People, funded by The National Lottery Community Fund. Our brand-new Young Advisor’s project aims to strengthen youth voice and participation in all of The Diana Award’s programmes and ensures that there are never barriers to participation.
As a charity that supports young people, we want to ensure that our work is not only for young people, but is also shaped by young people, their needs and priorities. To do this, we recruited twelve young people between the ages of 15-25 years old to become Diana Award Young Advisors. These Young Advisors will work with The Diana Award to review our current processes and create a plan of action for how we can better involve young people in our work.
To find out more about these incredible young people, click here.
In the first year of our Young Advisors project, the amazing young people have already successfully led an evaluation of The Diana Award’s current youth voice and participation practices. The young people split it into teams, with each team focusing on a particular area or programme within The Diana Award; this was decided to be the best course of action to use the young people’s time efficiently. The research methods utilised included running focus groups with young people on our programmes and interviewing Diana Award staff.
In mid-March, we were delighted to finally host our Young Advisor’s residential in central London. This was a wonderful opportunity for our Young Advisors to meet for the first time in person, take part in a variety of workshops and activities and celebrate all the incredible work they have done together so far. We were so pleased to have Joanne Lee, from our fantastic partner organisation, Young Advisors, facilitate the workshops throughout the weekend.
Our Young Advisors residential kickstarted with a few team-bonding activities to help the group settle in and form connections. After working virtually for 6 months, it was fantastic to finally have our Young Advisors come together as a team in the same space!
The main focus of Saturday was to give our Young Advisors the opportunity to sort, reflect and discuss their team’s findings. Each group had flip chart paper and recorded the key highlights and takeaways they found during their research. These all revolved around the four research questions:
Our Young Advisors then presented their findings back to the wider group. Following this, they took part in a round table exercise, where they moved between different tables and interrogated their findings in more detail. This was a great way for our Young Advisors to begin to trace common themes and trends emerging between all the groups.
To close of the first day of the residential, we took our Young Advisors bowling and for dinner. This was a lovely way to connect and really unwind after a busy and jam-packed first day!
Day two kicked off with an honest roundtable discussion, providing our Young Advisors with an opportunity to reflect on their findings, as well as connect and share their own experiences with The Diana Award. They then all took part in a ‘But Why?’ exercise, a method used to understand the reasons behind certain issues which kept emerging in their research.
After this, the Young Advisors worked together to create some tangible recommendations for The Diana Award to take forward into year two of the project, which was incredible to receive from the young people after such a short period of time together.
To round off the weekend, our Young Advisors reflected on the weekend, what went well and what could be improved for year two of the project. There was a huge sense of accomplishment, and we were so proud of all our Young Advisors.
We were so pleased with our first in-person Young Advisors residential, and we can’t wait for our next one in year two!
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