Youth Voice

Putting young people’s voices at the heart of what we do

What is our Youth Voice Committee?

After receiving over 200 applications for the role and holding interviews, we appointed eight members of our Youth Voice Committee, aged between 16 and 24 years, who reflect the diversity of young people living in major towns and cities across England and Wales.

Appointments to the Committee have been made for a 1-year term although members are eligible for re-appointment for a further term. The maximum length of appointment is two years.

Why set up a Youth Voice Committee?

Our mission is to significantly improve the safety, mental health, and well-being of young people in England and Wales at risk of harm from the gang and youth violence, through education, support, advocacy, and demonstrating that strong, active communities provide effective alternatives to violence.  Our CEO, Jonathan Green, makes it clear that “engagement with young people is critical to the success of our projects.  We are passionate and committed to delivering for young people, but we accept that we do not have all the answers. We are delighted with the energy, enthusiasm and wealth of different views that our Committee bring to our business. Our work is all the better for having them on board”

Aim of our Youth Voice Committee?

We are looking to give young people the opportunities to take a leading role and the ability to actively participate in key decision making of our Company, particularly in relation to the design of our projects and programmes, to advise us on what matters to young people and the best ways of engaging with young people.  We want to appoint young people to help raise awareness of the aspirations, needs and concerns of young people in the community and to facilitate interaction between young people, our company and its Directors, and the wider community.

The members objectives are:

  • To provide Resilience UnLimited with advice and support on matters relating to young people, based on the wider needs, issues, and views of young people in their community.
  • To ensure that the diversity of young people’s experiences and circumstances is reflected in our decision making, our projects and key messages.
  • To consult widely with young people in their wider communities and to speak up on their behalf.
  • To attend quarterly Youth Voice Committee Meetings, training and development sessions and other activities relevant to the role.
  • To be ambassadors for Resilience UnLimited and if required speaking at events, writing articles for our website and social media platforms, campaigning, getting involved and helping Resilience UnLimited deliver change.

Meet the Youth Voice Committee:

Arjan – my name is Arjan and I am 21 and I live in North Kent. I have recently graduated from SOAS University where I studied a variety of disciplines such as law, politics, sociology, law, and management. In the future I hope to continue on with my studies and play a crucial role as a future leader.  Growing up, as a teenager, I ran the risk of becoming involved in things we should distance ourselves from. However, I managed to turn things around and succeeded at school, then university. I have friends who have gone to prison, some have died. I bring this experience to Resilience UnLimited as a vital young person voice.

Alex – I am Alex, I am 21 years old and live in the Wirral, close to Liverpool. I am currently in university studying Sociology and Criminology. I also work as a community carer and volunteer in a youth club working with young people ages 8-25. My hobbies include going to concerts (when we are allowed) and spending time with friends and family.

I am looking forward to being part of this group and hearing everyone else’s perspectives on contemporary issues. I joined the committee because I am passionate about topics that affect young people and having my say on contemporary issues. The work that I have done in the past with different services has all been so beneficial and has helped me to see issues that affect young people in a different perspective. I am hoping to meet new people and hear new ideas from different members in the committee and be able to contribute my ideas to working with young people affected by such a serious issue.

Sam – My name is Samuel; I am a 22-year-old recent criminology and criminal justice with law graduate from the University of Plymouth. I was born and raised in Swansea from a working-class background. I am an avid traveller and believe that experiencing many different cultures and perspectives allows us to be better connected with each other. Yes, I know how corny that sounds. I have an interest in Welsh politics and enjoy reading, cycling and support the greatest football team in the world Swansea city.

The reason I joined the committee is because I believe that in our ever centralised and adult focused criminal justice system, the voices of the young are often trampled over. Rather than silencing us, our voices should be lifted, to provide new perspectives and represent the wide ranging and ever more diverse nature of local and national communities. Too often it is the people sitting in their ivory tower that are making nationwide decisions, without consideration as to how much insight young people can provide. Who better to advise on how to solve problems in communities, than the people who lived those problems? And this what Resilience Unlimited’s Youth Voice committee could be able to do, to provide voices to a diverse group of young people who can offer meaningful and informative insight into their own unique lived experiences which can help create positive change for the future.

Saibah – My name is Saibah and I am currently a full time Clinical Science student in Bradford. Student life keeps me pretty occupied, but when I am not revising or attending lectures albeit on an online format, I am spending time with family and friends. Although I am planning on having a career within the science/healthcare sector. I love learning about history and the arts. Also, I enjoy expressing myself through creative outlets such as song and creative writing. I have previously partaken in competitive sports such as football and netball, as well as studying ju-jitsu in the past. I currently keep active by going on long hikes or simply running locally.

Upon reading about Resilience Unlimited, I instantly loved the key values that constitute the foundations of the company and found that they coincided with my own personal values. I admire that the company aims to focus on the most vulnerable members of the community.  From experience, I have enjoyed work that involves integrating the local community through innovative and helpful initiatives, to help improve life for many within the community. Getting to know members of the community through open discussion and helping to improve their lives and future prospects is something I will find gratifying. I believe that this role will give me the opportunity to do so. Furthermore, I want to learn more about the impact crime and gang culture has on individuals, as well as the factors which predispose our young people to becoming inclined towards that sort of lifestyle. This role will give me an opportunity to do so by interacting with those who have been directly affected by gangs and crime.

Avalon – My name is Avalon, and I am a 20-year-old Psychology undergraduate at Cardiff University, I love reading and learning languages. I have done a lot of volunteering in my hometown in Somerset and in Cardiff in the past few years, and I love being able to give back to the community.

Resilience Unlimited appeals to me because I am an aspiring Clinical Psychologist- and I am deeply passionate about promoting wellbeing and advocating for those who need support. I want to use my voice to provide support for those who have been affected by gang crime and/or county lines, by helping to bridge the gap between young people and the support networks that are currently in place for them; as well as by raising awareness about these current and serious matters that many people remain ignorant of.

Kenda – My name is Kenda. I am 21 years old, living in Birmingham. I have many stories to share and I have a passion for success. I strongly believe that I could really make a big difference in someone’s life, if given the chance to. I am certain that with me on the team, many young people are destined for a brighter and more positive future. With a passion for performing, confidence, creativity and an open minded are second nature to me and contribute to my work ethic. I would be focused on positive behaviour development and make this my goal every single day.

I am interested in joining the Youth Voice Committee as I have always had an avid passion for helping the young people who are inevitably held back in life, due to gang violence, mental health issues, peer pressure, a lack of social skills etc. In 2018, I took part in a youth programme that was being held at a youth centre In Handsworth, along with other young girls. We spoke on the issues of girls and gangs, keeping safe on the streets, peer pressure, our human rights, and many other important topics. With the knowledge that I gained from the group, it opened my  eyes a lot and made me realise some of the issues that many young people face in their everyday lives, the silent struggles and the feeling that they aren’t understood. I would love to make a difference in a young person’s life, not for money or any type of recognition but for the fact that I honestly do not believe that anybody should struggle In silence, everybody’s voice is important and everyone deserves to be heard.

Rachael – My name is Rachael; I am 22 years old and I am a third-year English Literature student at Newcastle University. I was born and raised in Middlesbrough and have remained in the North-East of England all throughout my young-adult life. I consider myself to be an inescapable extrovert, an avid gamer and a student that indulges in all those very typical raucous student activities.

I was really interested in participating in the Youth Voice Committee as, despite my age, I have quite a wealth of background knowledge when it comes to working with youth groups in my local community. As a North-Easterner, I know that the general attitude in this region, especially amongst the youth, is that we are neglected and overlooked when it comes to matters of politics, funding and adequate policing. As a university student, I have also experienced first-hand the grips of violent youth groups in this area, particularly those that recruit and entrap students struggling to make ends-meet in an already deprived area of the country. I also know what it is like to try and raise these issues and be met with sceptical looks or to be discredited entirely, purely on the lack of grey hairs I have. I hope to be able to change that.

Jamil – My name is Jamil. I am 23 years old and grew up in Camden, London. I bring positive energy to the Youth Voice Committee at Resilience UnLimited and an understanding of how young people from different backgrounds make wrong or difficult decisions. Trying to turn something negative to something positive. I am genuinely wanting to do the best and help the people who want and need it. I want help young people and give them hope. Growing up in London, I also had many people help me when I was younger, and it changed my ways of thinking and my decision making so I know it definitely helps.

To contact a member of our Youth Voice Committee or for any enquiries about the Committees role and work – please email info@resilienceprogramme.co.uk

To be eligible, members must be:

  • be aged between 16 – 24 years as of 1 January 2021.
  • provide appropriate parental consent to their involvement in the Committee where necessary.
  • have the ability to work with a wide range of young people and in a team.
  • be committed to improving the welfare of communities affected by gang and youth violence, be proactive to representing their own and their community’s perspectives and respect and be mindful of other people’s opinions and perspectives.
  • be approachable, effective communicator and be able to demonstrate evidence of working effectively and collaboratively with other people.
  • be able to commit to attending at least 75% of the meetings per year, currently held online.