It’s been a big yippee in the Challenge Wales office this week. No, it’s not because they were filming Doctor Who at the back of the office again (see picture below if you don’t believe us), but more importantly we have received funding to set up the Challenge Wales Youth Panel.
…but what does that mean?
Challenge Wales’ sail training activities help young people aged 12 – 25 years learn lifeskills; teamwork, communication, respect for others, time-keeping, discipline and self-confidence. Young people jump onboard for life-changing voyages, then they leave us to return to their everyday lives. Hopefully we would have inspired some people to look at their lives differently in a positive way. However, we recognise we need to reach out to more young people particularly as we run a bursary scheme to subsidise groups and individuals (depending on eligibility at the time).
To ensure that young people remain central to the charity, we decided a youth panel would help us do that. We did some consultation and spoke to a few youth organisations in Caerphilly, Swansea and Brecon to gather thoughts and see how others have done something similar. We felt a shore-side youth panel is important to help get more young people involved in the charity, to enable us to talk to young people in their language, and to ensure young peoples views are heard – feeding directly back into the Board of Trustees.
Our application went in and we were pleased to receive funding from GwirVol; which supports youth volunteering initiatives (administered by the Welsh Council of Voluntary Action). So it was a big yippee when we heard the news we were successful.
Young people are already helping us to promote Challenge Wales, as you can see from one of our latest features which was shown on the Community Channel as part of Do Something Brilliant and #BrilliantWales.
The youth panel will be meeting four times a year, will undertake a team sailing day on Challenge Wales, help promote Challenge Wales, attend Challenge Wales board meetings and put on a celebration event to raise awareness of the work they are doing to a much wider audience. But being on the youth panel will also help develop confidence and teamworking skills of those involved and look great on a CV. If you are aged 16 – 24 years and want to be part of something really exciting then get in touch!
The youth panel, which will be made up of 10 – 12 young people, will enable young people to volunteer for Challenge Wales. Challenge Wales is run by volunteers so if you aren’t eligible to get involved with the youth panel check out what other volunteering opportunities there are for you.