Southwark Young Advisors
The Southwark Young Advisors were established in 2006/7. They are a diverse group of up to 40 young people age 16-25 years who are trained to work as young consultants. They advise adults, community leaders, key partners/agencies and local organisations /charities on how to better engage young people in community life and regeneration. This includes working with local politicians, councils, government officers, charities and most important the community of Southwark. Young Advisors work directly with other young people to encourage them to get involved in community activities, and opportunities in their neighbourhoods offering support and guidance where needed through a variety of projects/commissions.
- To support and encourage young people to play an active part in their communities, increase civic engagement, encourage communication between people of all ages and respond to concerns felt by other young people
- To support young people in developing confidence and skills, and make contributions to the development of their communities.
- To speak out for young people, making sure their thoughts and feelings are considered and provide young people with the opportunity to influence government strategy and policy on issues that affect them
- To ensure local and central government are aware of what the experience of being a young person is like.
- To assist with ‘building bridges’ between young people and those in authority.
- To make use their resources and funding in the best possible way to develop the scheme
- To to help councils, key partners and organisations to attract and maintain the interests of young people.
- To share good practice and to learn from others.
- To share their successes in Southwark, London and nationally
Southwark Young Advisors are recruited from the local area and take part in training to learn the skills they need for this role. Some of the topics they have been trained in include:
- Their role and responsibilities (both locally/under the national charity)
- Communication and presentation skills
- How to plan work/projects
- How to youth proof documents
- How to train adults on how to consult with young people
- Risk Management and Breakaway training
- Peer Mentoring
- Event Management
- Data Protection
- Safeguarding adults and vulnerable children
- Understanding Mental Health
- Help organisations 'youth proof' their practices, policies, strategies and commissioning;
- Help organisations/key partners understand how to attract and maintain the interests of young people;
- Speak out for young people, making sure their thoughts and feelings are considered in decisions that affect them;
- Help by being innovative in solving local challenges by bringing power and decision making into local communities;
- Help you deliver research and consultations to ensure findings relate to the needs of young people;
- Help deliver training, mentoring and coaching to people of all ages;
- Engage directly with other young people to get them involved in neighbourhood improvements;
- Help feed back what has changed as a result of their work which in turn helps to give everyone involved a sense of civic involvement.
- Help set up, manage their own events and assist with the running of events Borough wide and in partnership with the events team
The Southwark Young Advisors can be commissioned to carry out work locally, pan London and nationally. The team secure funding/commissions to run projects, activities and events. The hourly rate for commissioning a young advisor is £18 per hour for all organisations/key partners or £15 per hour for the local authority, national charity commissions or local charity commissions. The young advisors are paid an hourly rate in line with London Living Wage. The rates above cover their hourly rate, quarterly annual leave payment and all management/monitoring costs.
The team carry out a range of commissions however their most successful programme is:
StreetBase us a ‘Peer to Peer street engagement project with young people to increase access by signposting to positive activities, opportunities, events an support that will help prevent offending behaviour and support young people by helping them to access existing local services and facilities.’
Since 2009 the Street Base Team has been the bridge between the young people and services. Engaging with over 41,000 young people of all ages the team find out about their individual interests and sign-post them on to positive opportunities/activities or into appropriate services or support.
The approach used is very much youth inclusion however the team work in partnership with the local authority, key partners and organisations including charities to ensure that young people affected by youth violence and anti-social behaviour are being supported and signposted to opportunities.
The Street Base Team’s aim is to change perceptions by encouraging young people to get involved in positive activities, opportunities and support thus changing that negative perception. There is an expectation of the team to:
- gain the respect of the young people they are working with, who may often be challenging and difficult to engage, and may have resisted help from other services
- be credible and acceptable to young people
- not feel they are experts because they have lived the experience, but rather they are capable of listening to young people and are capable of working with them so they are able to make positive changes in their lives
- be able to relate to the challenges of growing up in difficult and often violent surroundings
Young advisors are recruited by the council every two to three years. The vacancies will be advertised on this page. Candidates then fill in an application which is used to shortlist who is invited to an interview. If you would like to register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org