Making young people's voices heard
Team Gold is an enthusiastic group of young people who are dead-set on amplifying youth voice. This is no easy task. Team Gold manages a pot of money that helps dozens of young people do what they want to do. From sessions in recording studios, to producing materials that will be used by us. The money comes from supporters, and the group has given many young people a chance to speak out on issues they care about. We spoke to some of the members to learn more.
The first meeting
Sam, 18, and a member of Team Gold, recalls the first meeting he had and how it made him feel. “Everything started with nerves filling up my brain with anxiety about meeting new people.” During that first meeting, the group looked at some ‘Golden Ticket’ applications. These applications come from young people across England who maybe want to get more active or learn something new. Some young people receive a gym membership, others receive shoes for an interview. Seeing that so many teenagers needed support made Sam reflect on how little young people are listened to. "Deep down, there are so many issues all the time that the government should be looking into and yet deem us not worthy.”
Earlier this year, a new report was launched to examine the UK Government’s work to make sure that children and young people rights are being respected in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). Eamon and Helya got the exciting opportunity to attend the launch event.
“We wanted to experience politics face-to-face. It was a dizzying experience, but then it all started to click. One of us was allowed to put a question to a baroness. During her speech, she’d mentioned the importance of empowering students and we wanted to know how that would be implemented.
“After the meeting, we asked an MP the same question and spoke to a person from another charity about it, too. She commended us for pursuing that line of enquiry, saying she thought students should be given roles at each level of the school hierarchy. That would empower students, because they’d be in positions where they could question power.”
"For us, it was really important to represent young people at the event and meet MPs. We definitely had something to prove – that young people can be active and equal participants in society."
For the members of Team Gold, it isn’t just about giving funding to other people. It creates unique opportunities for the group itself. Some members organised an event called Over the Rainbow at Alton Towers, where young people could share how the funding they received made a difference to their lives. Most importantly, it’s shown the group the power their voices have.
Making a difference
Making a difference
For the young people involved in Team Gold, it means so much more than just deciding on funding. Said explains, “Team Gold helps young people find the purpose within themselves, as well as people around them.”
Ruby added, “It’s very important that people listen to us, so they can understand what problems we have and so that we feel heard as well.”
Team Gold has given hope, support, and a voice to the young people who will go on to shape our future. “These are things that might not have been possible if it weren’t for the amazing gifts of The Children’s Society’s supporters and the tireless work of the organisation’s staff and volunteers. It makes us happy that so many people have come together to make it possible for us to help others.”
Team Gold helps young people find the purpose within themselves. Team Gold helps young people find the purpose within themselves.