Meet the finalists: Participation & Youth Voice

Our three finalists for the Participation & Youth Voice category understand the value of participating in youth work. It not only allows young people to make new friends and build confidence but it develops meaningful and supportive relationships with their youth worker. Participation isn’t always easy but it is a fundamental right for young people.  Our finalists understand this right, working with and supporting young people everyday to have their voice heard and their opinions listened to.

Hannah Brisbane, Girlguiding Scotland 

Hannah has been the volunteer lead on Girlguiding Scotland’s advocacy work, ensuring the voices of girls and young women are at the centre of decision making. 

She developed the idea for the Speak Out Youth Panel, a group of 20 young women who influence the direction of Girlguiding Scotland. No mean feat and she’s still only 24!  

As part of this work, she has led on campaigns including Citizen Girl, to engage more young women in politics and Media Mindful, supporting girls to challenge how women are represented in the media. Both projects were co-produced by the Speak Out panel, supported by Hannah. In total, these projects have impacted nearly 10,000 girls.  

Hannah empowers girls and young women to shape, lead and deliver amazing things; she truly understands what co-production means.  

Speak Out Panel member, Rhona: “She takes pride in her role of championing the voices of young women and making us feel heard and valued with her kind words and great knowledge, experience and wisdom.” 

Find out more: www.girlguidingscotland.org.uk

David Brackenridge, Venture Scotland 

David Brackenridge knows the power of youth participation, and it’s transformed, not only Venture Scotland but the lives of their Young Ambassadors.  

In 2020, five of Venture Scotland (VS) graduate young people designed the “Ambassador” programme – a two-year programme which would give them the chance to give their voice to decisions within VS and shape the future experience of other young people. 

The Ambassadors spent the next year collaborating (over zoom and in-person!); they joined Board meetings, activity days with young people, engaged with funders and assisted with staff interviews.  

David was both the inspiration behind the Ambassador programme and the driving force to make it happen, his vision has put young people’s voices right at the heart of the organisation.   

“This has been a rewarding and exciting experience thanks to David’s enthusiasm and engaging approach and him allowing us to shape and design the programme with only a little gentle guidance! He has ensured my voice is heard throughout the charity and this gives me a sense of pride and value.” VS Ambassador.

Find out more: venturescotland.org.uk

Nina Collins, Forces Children Scotland (formally RCET) 

Growing up as part of an Armed Forces family comes with its own challenges, deployment of loved ones, re-locations and disruption to education and friendships. Military Youth Voice Scotland is the national youth participation forum for Forces Children Scotland.  

Knowing the particular needs of these young people, Nina Collins, Youth Participation Manager, wanted to make sure they were heard. Through consultation and listening to young people she has been instrumental in the development of the forum.  

Supported by Nina they created a consultation that involved more than 600 young people, where they discovered over 80% per cent of respondents said they faced considerable challenges to mental health and wellbeing. In response, the young people recently launched Your Mind Matters, a bespoke mental health and wellbeing digital platform resource. 

Nina has made a real difference to the lives of many military young people by empowering them to use their voice.  She is an enthusiastic, and dedicated youth worker, who inspires vision and demonstrates excellence throughout her role.

Find out more: forceschildrenscotland.org.uk

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