Do you think support for young people should be designed with young people themselves?

We’re looking for young people aged 13 – 21 to lead a project dealing with some really big questions, such as how schools, housing and health can become really child- and young people-centred, and how our neighbourhoods can help young people thrive. If you have ideas on how support for younger people could be better, or you want to help young people across England make their voices heard on the issues they face, we would love you to apply to be a young leader of the ChildFair State Project.

As part of a team of 25 young people, you will be supported and trained by the brilliant Leaders Unlocked to create a research project finding out how children and young people in your area feel about their lives and the services available to them. You'll then be supported by expert professionals to come up with a new vision for how services and neighbourhoods should treat children and young people. 

Members of the young leaders team will be able to:

  • Develop your research and facilitation skills
  • Give other children and young people a voice
  • Explore your own and others’ experiences of public services
  • Work with a panel of experts to create proposals for change 
  • Become, if you choose, active campaigners for the vision you create

The deadline for applications is Friday 27th September.

- Download the application form

- Download a flyer to share with young people you work with

- Download the information below 'About this Opportunity'

Who can join the ChildFair State Project?

We are looking for young people aged 13 - 21 who are currently living in England. We would like to have young people from as many regions of the country as possible, including those from particularly rural and urban areas.

This role is open to anyone who is interested and keen to apply. In total, we are seeking approximately 25 young people across the country. We are looking for people who are team players and willing to get involved with all the activities of the project.

We are also very keen to make sure the project involves young people from different backgrounds and a wide range of life experiences. We want to hear from young people who have been affected by different issues and challenges – including (but not limited to) care experience, migration, poverty, experience of hospital stays, being a carer, living in different forms of housing, alternative education, special educational needs and disabilities.

If I join, what will I have to do?

 This project will last from October 2019 to October 2020. Over this time, young leaders of the ChildFair State Project will:

  • Take part in design sessions

You will take part in two, half-day sessions at the start of the project (19th October and 16th November). At these sessions you will work together, debate the ideas behind the Project, and come up with creative ideas for engaging other young people. You will also take part in practical activities to develop the skills you need to engage other young people.

  • Carry out research with other young people

You will be involved in designing and delivering workshops to gather the views of other young people. You will help to get other young people involved in conversations about the issues that affect them and their visions for the future. We expect each member of the group to take part in at least 3 of these workshops in Spring/Summer 2020 (we’ll make sure these workshops fit with your other commitments and would never expect you to miss your education to take part).

  • Create a vision for new services and communities

With the rest of the leadership team, you’ll discuss what you’ve found out from young people, and come up with ideas for change that will meet their needs, whether that’s in local communities or on a larger scale. You’ll have the chance to pitch your ideas to an expert panel, and work with them to create a new vision for ‘child-centred’ services and communities.

  • Launch your vision at a major event

Later in 2020 we will hold a major event to bring together decision-makers, experts and influencers to hear from you as a team of young leaders. At this event you will have a platform to present your results and your vision for change, and to kick off a campaign to make your vision a reality.

What will I get from being part of the Inquiry?

As a young leader on the ChildFair State Project, you will have the chance to:

  • Discuss issues with experts and decision-makers:

You will meet key experts and decision-makers at the national level, and help them to understand what issues young people are facing today and what changes are most needed.

  • Develop your skills and experience:

You will gain vital skills and experience, which will be valuable for your CV, job applications and applications to courses. This experience will help you to stand out from the crowd and get the opportunities you want in the future.

  • Become an advocate for other young people:

You will give a voice to children and young people across England, helping them to get their views heard by decision-makers. You will play an important role at the national level, acting as an advocate for change and communicating your vision for the future.

  • Meet new people and build your networks:

You will meet a diverse range of young people from across England, and work alongside professionals from different organisations. There will be occasional travel, and your expenses will be paid. If you need a chaperone to accompany you when you travel, we'll pay for their expenses too.

What expenses are covered?

Travel: All reasonable expenses relating to the project will be covered for young people. We will also cover the costs of chaperone travel for under-18s and participants with a need for additional support. 

Food: We will provide lunch, snacks and refreshments at the sessions, taking into account dietary requirements and allergies. We will also cover the cost of food for those with long journeys home after the sessions.

Payment for time: This is a voluntary role, and as such participants will not be paid for their time. We don’t ask that you miss any paid work commitments in order to take part, and we are happy to work flexibility to accommodate people with a variety of schedules.

We believe that through the leadership role you’ll be undertaking, the people you’ll meet and the organisations you’ll be working with, you will develop invaluable skills and experience. After the project, you will be able to benefit from ongoing support and opportunities from Leaders Unlocked.

How do I apply?

Please fill in the application form and email it to [email protected] by Friday 27th September 2019

If you are under 18, you must fill out the section regarding your Carer/ Parent /Guardian.  All members under the age of 18 will be asked to bring along a signed consent form to the first event.

What happens next?

After the deadline, we will carry out telephone interviews with shortlisted applicants. All applicants will be informed of the outcome by 12th October 2019.

Please note: If you are not successful, we will let you know about other ways for you to get involved with the ChildFair State Project. You can be a part of a network of young people who give their views towards the Inquiry by virtual/ digital means. Once the youth-led research process launches, we will be able to tell you about ways to give your views online. You may also want to invite the Inquiry to come to your youth or community group to run a workshop. If you would like to find out more about how you can be involved, please contact [email protected].

We look forward to receiving to receiving your application!

We are extremely grateful to the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for funding this work, and for the broader support of the Tudor Trust and Blagrave Trust.