The main role of the Youth Advisory Board is to ensure that young people are involved in decisions about how our services operate and are being given opportunities to feedback and have their ideas taken on board. Now that we have our ‘Youth Standards’ which were developed earlier in the year by young people across St Basils, the YAB are also now heavily involved in advising on these and ensuring they are incorporated into operations across the agency.
Just like our main Board of Directors, the YAB has a Chair and Deputy Chairs and a minute taker who records key points from the discussions at each meeting. The young people meet monthly online, on the second Tuesday of the month 6pm – 8pm. The YAB is serviced by Governance and Regulations Manager Oliver Killeen, just like St Basils main Board. The YAB have their own terms of reference and have developed their own code of conduct.
The YAB meetings are virtual and in the interests of fairness and easy access for all, will remain so. To assist each young person in ensuring they can attend the meetings and in accordance with St Basils Youth Standard 4 – ensuring connectivity, each member of YAB has been given a phone, a tablet with a keyboard and a data allowance.
So far meetings have featured presentations from our Chief Executive Jean Templeton, monthly visits from Cllr Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Children and Families and Homelessness in Birmingham and who has been a major inspiration to members, and the Independent Office of Police Conduct(IOPC) Commissioner, Derick Campbell.
The YAB are taking their responsibilities very seriously and are already looking at how to improve young people’s involvement in the recruitment of staff. Following their suggestions, recruitment is now linked to our Youth Standards and these are now sent out with every recruitment pack. Prospective staff are questioned on these and asked to complete a task involving them.
The YAB was originally developed in 2005 and we have always had young people involved in decision making processes at St Basils since then, be it through the YAB or through having young people sitting on our main Board. This continues today alongside the YAB; two new young people were appointed to our main Board at our AGM in September.
YAB and our main Board are now looking at how both Boards can work together and will be working to develop processes to bring young people into governance.