Say hello to our Youth Advisory Team – our team of young people providing a youth voice in YHA’s governance and decision-making.
Meet Christopher, Emily, Hannah, Jessica, Munashe, Tom, Amy, Tilly, Pavan, Evie, Katie, Bethanie, Louise and Zoya…
Christopher is from Bury, Greater Manchester and is an Agency Assistant in primary, secondary, and SEMH schools on supply supporting teaching and learning.
As a Youth Advisory Team member, he wants to help promote YHA core values of social inclusivity, diversity and disabilities of children, qualities he considers fundamental to maintaining the YHA’s ethos as a charitable organisation.
Take a look at Christopher’s profile.
Emily grew up in the Wiltshire countryside and has a passion for history – having travelled across the UK to see some of the amazing historic sites.
She has been involved in charity work for years, through supporting awareness campaigns and fundraising for different charities. Having written a children’s book about mental health, she also hopes to bring some of her own knowledge from her research into wellbeing for young people to the team.
Take a look at Emily’s profile.
Hannah is a first-year uni student studying marketing and communications. She loves travelling – she finds the planning, booking and finally the trip so exciting.
Before university, Hannah created and managed a homework club for younger students which was a safe space for pupils to receive support, seek advice and develop social skills through debate activities. This experience gave Hannah great personal satisfaction in helping others and widened her understanding of the varying problems children face.
Take a look at Hannah’s profile.
Jessica’s thirst for adventure began when she started mountain climbing with her family as a child. This passion grew as she completed her bronze, silver and gold Duke of Edinburgh awards.
Jessica became a Youth Advisory Team member due to her positive experiences working with young people and her love for the outdoors. She wants to use her understanding of how the pandemic has impacted the wellbeing of children and young adults to inform the future work of YHA post-pandemic.
Take a look at Jessica’s profile.
Munashe is currently studying psychology with sociology at Nottingham Trent University. She is highly passionate and purpose-driven and considers volunteering and giving back to the community as part of who she is.
Munashe is a support worker and volunteer with the Royal Voluntary Service. She looks forward to contributing her past experiences to YHA and helping to develop a goal-centred approach to help young people.
Take a look at Munashe’s profile.
Tom is sixteen and is currently in his first year of A-Levels. Tom lives in Devon, which he finds a beautiful part of the world with easy access to the sea and Dartmoor.
As part of the Youth Advisory Team, he would like to raise awareness of the challenges that neurodiverse people face and make some positive changes that encourage them to stay in youth hostels.
Take a look at Tom’s profile.
Amy is dedicated to helping children and young people with disabilities as she was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 17. She understands how people with disabilities live daily and feels everyone deserves to have the same opportunities in life to allow them to achieve their ambitions.
When not busy volunteering, Amy likes to relax by reading, crafting, keeping active and spending time with her cat, Betty.
Take a look at Amy’s profile.
Tilly lives in a rural town in the Midlands and will be commencing a degree in law at the University of Manchester this year.
Tilly deeply connects with the YHA’s core value of improving the wellbeing and success of young people across the UK. Since her early teens, Tilly has suffered with a variety of health issues including structural abnormalities, hearing loss and general chronic pain. Tilly is passionate about chronic illnesses’ effects on development in children and teens, particularly after seeing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on young people’s mental health.
Take a look at Matlida’s profile.
Pavan is currently studying A levels, hoping to do a degree in clinical psychology, and currently works for Council for Disabled Children and mental health charity It’s OK.
Pavan is autistic and says the best thing about being autistic is the sensory joy experienced through certain things and wants to bring personal experiences as an autistic person to help improve the lives of disabled youths.
Take a look at Pavan’s profile.
Evie has a degree in media and communications from Cardiff University, which included a term studying abroad at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
As part of the Youth Advisory Team, she would like to contribute to ensuring that young people have the opportunity to impact on and influence decision-making. She hopes to use her own experience to help shape how YHA engages young people and effectively supports their needs, values and experiences.
Take a look at Evie’s profile.
Katie is a sociology undergraduate, which has sparked a passion to advocate for change, especially for young people and for those facing adversity.
Katie shares YHA’s belief that where you go shapes the person that you are. Too often, the lives and experiences of children and young people are limited due to financial and familial circumstance. Katie wants to advocate for change that ensures all young people are afforded the same opportunities and experiences.
Take a look at Katie’s profile.
Bethanie is currently a politics undergraduate at Durham University, hoping to pursue a career in the education charity and/or policy sector once graduating.
Bethanie aims to expand on the incredible work that YHA has done so far, to ensure that children and families from low-income backgrounds, who typically would not have the opportunity to do so, have the chance to travel, explore and access places across the country.
Take a look at Bethanie’s profile.
Louise is a sustainable product design graduate with a love of the great outdoors.
Louise was introduced to youth hostelling at a very young age. Having had the pleasure of a rural upbringing, hostels gave Louise and her family the opportunity to experience cities, discover far flung places and see life beyond that of our small town. She believes hostelling can offer a great means of educating young people on the importance of sustainability; encouraging us to recognise our responsibility in safeguarding the planet for current and future generations.
Take a look at Louise’s profile.
Zoya is currently at college studying physics, chemistry and English literature, and has worked with other charities such as The Mix and the National Children’s Bureau. Working with these charities has allowed Zoya to build confidence and retain a passion for trying to help others.
Zoya feels it is important to expand the youth network and attempt to make YHA more inclusive, pushing youth voice as much as possible.
Take a look at Zoya’s profile.
Written by Evie Bruce, Youth Advisory Team
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