Our Youth Panel puts young people's voices at the heart of everything we do. Find out more about the panel and how you can join.
What is the YoungMinds Youth Panel?
The Youth Panel is about the 'behind the scenes' of a charity. We discuss the big picture questions about YoungMinds as an organisation, like who we are, where we are going, or what we should do.
We talk about things like strategy, safeguarding, fundraising, organisational culture, risk management, data protection, and brand and marketing.
We ask questions like:
- Is this right for YoungMinds?
- How should our charity approach this?
- Does this fit with our strategy?
- Who else needs to be part of this conversation?
The Youth Panel’s job is to understand how YoungMinds works, to help our Directors and our Board of Trustees to make the best decisions to help us achieve our mission.
The decisions that we make as a Youth Panel help to shape the future of the charity.
What does a Youth Panellist do?
The Youth Panel work with teams across YoungMinds to make sure all of our work is informed by young people. This includes:
- attending Youth Panel board meetings, which take place on the Saturday before our Board of Trustee meetings (about four or five times a year). At these meetings we discuss some of the items that are on the agenda for the Board of Trustees, and give our own recommendations.
- taking turns to attend the Board of Trustees meetings to share the Youth Panel’s recommendations
- participating in workshops for specific projects. Some examples include:
- helping our Fundraising team decide who we should accept donations from
- helping our HR team write our Code of Conduct
- helping our Media team decide who would be good ambassadors for our charity
- helping our Evidence team to evaluate our strategy
- helping with staff recruitment. This could involve looking at job descriptions, helping to shortlist candidates, being part of the interview panel, and helping to make the decision about who we should hire.
What training would I get?
As a Youth Panellist, the first thing you will do is take part in an induction where you will get to know YoungMinds staff and the other Youth Panellists. Your training will include:
- learning more about YoungMinds and the work that we do
- understanding the ‘behind the scenes’ of running a charity
- learning how to think strategically and how to ask good questions
- learning about anti-racism, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (AJEDI), and why this is important to YoungMinds
The induction training will take place online throughout July, and you will need to be available for all of the sessions. The training will be from 4:30 - 6:30pm on:
- Thursday 1st July
- Tuesday 6th July
- Thursday 8th July
- Tuesday 13th July
- Thursday 15th July
- Tuesday 20th July
- Thursday 22nd July
- Tuesday 27th July
What is the time commitment?
The Youth Panel is a two-year programme, and we hope that you will get involved as much as you can during that time.
We always meet on the Saturday before the Board of Trustees meeting, which happens four or five times a year. This is usually a full day meeting in our office in London, but during the COVID-19 pandemic we have been meeting online instead. We always know these dates in advance, so will give you lots of notice.
After these meetings, you have the option to put your hand up to attend the Board of Trustees meeting. These meetings happen on the Tuesday evening after our Saturday meeting, and you would usually attend for about an hour.
We also have meetings when we need to talk about a specific project. These meetings are scheduled as and when things come up, and we always try to give you two weeks’ notice. The frequency of these meetings varies throughout the year, but we probably have between one and three meetings each month. They are usually in the evenings or on Saturdays via Zoom, and last between one to two hours.
Throughout the year there is also the opportunity to help out with staff recruitment. Whenever this opportunity arises we will let you know what the time commitment is, and you can let us know if you are free to join.
Is the Youth Panel the right opportunity for me?
YoungMinds has two core programs for young people: the Youth Panel and the Youth Activist programme.
Activists share their mental health stories to raise awareness and advocate for change. They help us to plan and run campaigns, and inform our policy work.
The Youth Panel is different. It’s not about sharing your mental health story. Instead, the Youth Panel help to shape the ‘behind the scenes’ of the charity.
If you want to share your story and campaign for change, then our Activist programme might be a better fit for you. If you sign up for our mailing list and follow us on social media, we will let you know when applications for the Activist Programme open next.
Who can apply for the Youth Panel?
You don’t have to have loads of volunteering experience or get top grades to be on the Youth Panel. The main thing that we are looking for is passion!
You’ll need to be aged between 16 and 25 for the whole two years of the programme. If you’re already 24 or 25, unfortunately it is too late for you to join our Youth Panel, but why not sign up to our mailing list for other ways that you can join our movement?
You also need to live in England.
At YoungMinds we want to make sure that we are listening to young people with lots of different backgrounds and experiences, so we are prioritising applications from young people who:
- have a physical disability or long-term physical illness
- are Black or from a minoritised ethnicity
- are trans, non-binary, or gender non-conforming
- are working class
- are male/men (both trans or cis)
How do I apply?
Applications for the Youth Panel are now closed.
Sign up to our mailing list to hear of other opportunities to get involved with YoungMinds.