Youth voice is vital because it supports young people to have a positive impact and create change for themselves and their communities.
We directly involve young people in the day-to-day running of the charity. Young people help us decide what we do, where the charity is going, who we hire, and what we stand for.
We want to ensure young people have a space to share their voices and lived experiences. We also give our young people opportunities to develop their communication, leadership and workplace skills to influence change. We do this by running some core groups at GMYN.
Our Youth Voice Groups are open to current or ex-GMYN participants who want to contribute to co-design and other youth-led projects. This group is often our first port of call for any influence and governance work with young people.
Our group for disabled and neurodiverse young people (called the SEND Changemakers Group) is open to those with additional needs who want to have a voice and make a difference for other young people with disabilities.
“GMYN gives us the power to change things. It is extremely important that our opinions are heard.”
“I have been involved in helping with staff recruitment and interviews at GMYN. Our opinion is taken seriously, and we get to build our own employability skills at the same time.”Members of the Youth Voice Group
We have developed principles ensuring that young people remain at the heart of our work. GMYN’s principles are that young people are informed, listened to, can make choices and changes, and are included, safe and supported. This approach is based on Lundy’s Model of Participation.
In practice, we set up a space where young people can meaningfully have a voice. We listen to this voice and share it with an audience so that young people are listened to and can have an influence. Of course, we will not always be able to accommodate every view or request from a young person, but we emphasise the importance of feedback and of letting young people know how and why they have been able to influence or not.