Young voices are woven into the fabric of our decision-making through the Spirit of 2012 Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), made up of 10 young people from across the UK.
Every other year, the YAP are given responsibility for allocating money through their Challenge Fund to projects they feel will empower young people. They manage the entire process – from setting out the initial application criteria to making the final decisions on allocating funds.
Youth Advisory Panel
Youth Panel Chair
"Investing in happiness has never been more crucial for communities across the UK. I hope to combine my extensive experience and knowledge of working with communities at a grassroots level and passion for sport, social action, volunteering and the arts to help Spirit create lasting legacies and reach some of the most vulnerable members of society."
"Young people are leaders. We have the imagination, potential and power to change the world for the better and being part of the Youth Advisory Panel means having the chance to do that with other amazing individuals. I’m excited that I represent young people just like me and can't wait to continue challenging expectations."
"Being part of the Spirit of 2012 YAP has further fuelled my passion for inclusion and belief in the power sport has to bring people together, break down barriers and transform lives and communities."
"Being on the Spirit 2012 Youth Advisory Panel has given me the opportunity to learn invaluable new skills, connect with amazing people and promote the importance of inclusiveness and increasing well-being in our society. I am very fortunate to have been given the responsibility to be on the panel to ensure young people’s voices are heard and valued at every stage."
"Being on the Spirit of 2012 Youth Advisory Panel is a fantastic experience. Spirit of 2012 changes lives, perceptions and brings people from all communities together. Being a part of the YAP is important to me because all sections of society need representation to reflect the diversity and abundance of culture we are immersed in. This role enables me to bring the voice of my community to the table and it is amazing to be a part of an organisation that wholeheartedly champions this"
Eloise Stingemore is the Spirit of 2012 Youth Advisory Panel representative for Wales. "I am a marketer with a strong love of all things digital and who aspires to work as a marketing manager in sport. My involvement in the YAP provides me with chance to put my digital media skills to good use, ensure the voices of my community are heard and ultimately make the world a better place (as cheesy as that sounds, it’s true)."
Thomas Copeland is the Spirit of 2012 Youth Advisory Panel representative for Northern Ireland. He is founder and editor of Challenges NI, a political youth engagement platform aimed at tackling apathy amongst young people towards the Northern Irish political process. Thomas is a regular political contributor on regional and national television and radio programmes, including BBC, RTE and Sky, commenting on issues pertinent to young people across the UK.
The YAP Challenge Fund was launched in 2015, when the panel decided to award funding to Reading Rooms, a literacy group for young offenders in Northern Ireland, and Rhythm and Respect, a community music project based in Plymouth.
Rhythm and Respect has just concluded, having been hugely successful in engaging young people and leaving a wellbeing legacy of increased life satisfaction and decreased levels of anxiety among participants. And such has been the success of Reading Rooms that the YAP have chosen to continue to fund it.
This year the YAP have awarded £75,000 to Youth Cymru – a national youth work charity operating in Wales, to tackle mental health issues among young people.