During the Easter holiday each year, we recruit young people we work with in our programmes to join 'Team Gold', the group that awards the Pot of Gold grants.
Those who accept attend an induction session, where young people have a chance to find out a wide range of subjects, including:
- more about how Pot of Gold work
- what their role as budgetary decision-makers involves
- information about what types of funding applications they will receive
- how decisions are made
- what happens after they award a group funding.
This session is co-led by young people from the previous year's Team Gold. It explains the experience from their perspective and answer questions that the new Team Gold has.
We also plan for the year by scheduling meeting dates that are convenient to all. This is important because it allows us to set deadlines for wider group of children and young people to submit their applications for Pot of Gold funding.
Assessing applications and planning Over the Rainbow
When the applications have been received, Team Gold meets again.
At the meeting, a young person leads a group discussion about the funding applications, ensuring everyone has a chance to speak.
When assessing applications, Team Gold looks for evidence that the idea for funding has come from children and young people, and that the proposal will directly benefit young people and the applicants.
The goal of the meetings is to listen to others, work as a team, debate and discuss the merits of each funding application and to give constructive feedback.
Preparing for Over the Rainbow
In October, Team Gold begin to plan for the next Over the Rainbow event. At Over the Rainbow, all the groups that received Pot of Gold funding in that financial year are invited to attend and share what they achieved with their funding and the difference it made.
The planning for the event continues for months, with young people advising on:
- the venue
- the day’s structure and programme
- the design of their booklet and invitations
- the indoor and outdoor activities.
When planning the event, the young people work to an allocated budget and as a group decide how to spend funds. When the event draws closer, detailed planning takes place like preparing speeches, allocation of roles and risk assessing the event. We also film the day and the young people have a role in briefing the filmmaker and making edits to the final film.
Examples of Pot of Gold funding:
- Listen Up Group: Rochdale Children in Care Council used their funding to create an art board to explain their experiences of being in care.
- 4 Schools Magazine, Disability Inclusion Programme created a school magazine.
- Young Carers Voices Hampshire created a video on their views about being a young carer.
- Lancashire Speak Out Group who want to change pathway plans so they are of value to young people leaving care.
- Super Skills, Leap, who used the funding to support their group over the summer to develop skills.
- Saltford Intergenerational Group who are using the funding for intergenerational work in their local community.