At the start of this year’s #iwillweek, we are delighted to support and celebrate all young people who are building communities through youth action.
As part of our commitment to empowering young people, we have our own Youth Advisory Panel alongside the many projects we fund that give young people the chance to participate in social action: and if you’re aged 18-28 you have until the end of this week to apply to join it.
Carl Konadu is a former Chair of our Youth Advisory Panel (YAP), and he’s clear that being a young volunteer with Spirit was part of his journey to a positive, rewarding career.
“Being Chair of Spirit of 2012’s YAP is one of the best leadership/voluntary roles I have ever had! Getting the opportunity to build and lead a great team of ambitious young people who were passionate about social action, arts and sport was a fantastic experience for me,” he says.
“At the start of my term on the YAP, we wrote letters to ourselves as part of our goal-setting activity. One of the things I wrote was that I wanted to be running a business full-time that supports young people and delivers national personal development programmes, and by the end of the YAP... I was doing exactly that!”
Jane Lady Gibson, acting Chair of Spirit’s Board, is clear that in turn the YAP bring huge value.
“We at Spirit think that having the YAP represented on our Board and Committees is essential to good governance. Our decision-making needs to consider as many perspectives as possible, so their input is vital and all our Director’s views have equal weight. I can’t imagine working any other way.”
Carl now works as a motivational speaker and high performance coach, putting into practice many of the leadership skills he learned during his time on Spirit’s YAP.
“Alongside the great network I built, the friends I made and the experience I got, my time on the YAP set me up for my future work. I’m also staying connected to Spirit through its Breaking Boundaries project which launched earlier this year: I’m running some very exciting team building and leadership activities for the young people that will be driving this project forward.
“I want to give young people opportunities to get involved in social action projects for their local community, inspired by the Cricket World Cup. And I’m really excited to be working with Spirit, Youth Sport Trust and Sporting Equals.”
So would Carl encourage other young people to step up to get involved in voluntary work? “Of course I would!”