Teenagers handed ‘key role’ by the NSPCC to advise staff and trustees

The NSPCC has bolstered the appointment of young people within its organisation after the first meeting this year of a specially set up board of teenager advisers.

The charity launched a search earlier this year for 13-16-year olds to join its Young People’s Board for Change, set up to give young people a bigger say in the charity’s work as well as help develop national and regional campaigning.

It held its first meeting, virtually, at the end of March. Further residentials, meetings and workshops are set to be arranged over the next two years.

The charity has pledged to ensure the board has a “a key role advising staff and trustees”.

“This role is a chance to make positive change in the world with other like-minded teenagers,” said board member Will, 15.

“I will enjoy being able to be a part of helping create an environment where all young people regardless of gender, sexuality or race have equal and fair chances to make their way in the world and to always feel safe.”

Supporting young people amid the pandemic is set to be a priority of the board’s work.

Another member Elan, 16 said: “The past year has been tough for everyone, but for young people who have had to go from socialising everyday with hundreds of students a day to being alone all day every day for months and then back to school again recently, it’s been an especially turbulent time, so I think the most important thing young people need coming out of the pandemic is understanding, patience and to be listened to.”

Lucy Read, NSPCC associate head of participation added: “The last year has changed the lives of many young people across the UK but, as we now look to the future, the new members of our Young People’s Board for Change have a great opportunity to make their voices heard.

“We believe that a generation of young people should not be defined by the pandemic, so it has never been more important to listen to them and embed their views into everything we do.

“Children are the experts on their own lives, and there is so much that we can learn from their experiences.”

Young Trustees

The launch of the board follows the appointment last year of the NSPCC’s first ‘young trustees’. Shena Patelmaster, 24, and Ife Grillo, 22, joined the charities board for a three year term.

NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said their appointment was to provide the charity with a “step change in the diversity and breadth of perspective at the top table”.

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