Young People's Forum

Young People's Forum

Young voices inspiring action for wildlife

Young people with placard by Penny Dixie

Get involved and make a difference for wildlife

Aged 11-24? Concerned about climate change, biodiversity loss, and local wildlife? Interested in supporting other young people to take action? Have you been inspired by young activists like Greta Thunberg and want to play your part locally in the fight for our planet?

The Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Northamptonshire is looking for passionate volunteers just like you to join our Young People’s Forum. The Forum is a new project to help the Trust work better for young people.

Please read through all the sections below before applying to be involved.

If you have any questions, you are welcome to email us at youngpeoplesforum@wildlifebcn.org

Who can join the Young People’s Forum?

We are looking for committee members who have a passion for local wildlife and global environmental issues like the climate chaos and the loss of biodiversity.

Every committee member needs to be:

  • Passionate about conservation
  • Living, working, or studying in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire or Northamptonshire
  • A member of the Trust (or willing to become a member - we offer free membership for Forum members)
  • Aged between 11 and 24
  • Confident representing the views of other people to staff, trustees and peers

Diversity and inclusion are extremely important to us and we are committed to creating an environment where young people from all backgrounds feel welcome, listened to, and valued. We encourage applications from young people currently underrepresented in the environmental movement, including young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, young people with disabilities, young people from working class backgrounds and LGBT+ young people.

What does the Young People’s Forum do?

This will change over time, but it will centre around:

  • Providing opportunities for young people to take action for wildlife and the environment
  • Creating content for social media and our website
  • Representing the Trust to other young people
  • Organising events for young people to learn more about wildlife and environmental issues
  • Organising socials for like-minded young people
  • Helping to ensure the ideas and voices of young people help shape the work of the Trust
  • Advising the Trust on how to involve more young people in our work, and how to meet the needs of young people interested in conservation and environmental issues
  • Giving advice to the Trust on things like improving diversity, inclusion, sustainability, access and signage
  • Fundraising

There is a small budget for the Forum.

Who runs it?

The Forum will run as a committee of young people representing the diverse communities in our three counties, and will be supported by Trust staff

What will I get out of joining the Young People’s Forum?

You will have the chance to:

  • Enhance your CV and improve your employability
    • Work in a team with the opportunity to improve interpersonal skills such as negotiation and leadership
    • Improve communication skills (writing, public speaking, presenting)
    • Be an advocate (someone who stands up for a cause and represents other people’s views)
    • Gain access to training on things like environmental issues, media and wildlife identification
    • Gain experience in things like fundraising and event organisation
  • Make a difference for people and wildlife
  • Get some careers advice
  • Meet and socialise with like-minded people, and to form new friendships 
  • Take part in social activities
  • Get involved in the Trust’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group

Food will be offered at face-to-face meetings, (catering for different diets)

What do I need to be able to do?

You need to be able to:

  • Represent the views of young people
  • Help get other young people involved in our work
  • Share ideas and enjoy discussing things
  • Take ideas and information from the Forum and the Trust to share with other young people.
  • Attend our quarterly (four a year) Young People’s Forum meetings, and take part in other events or campaigns
  • Have basic IT skills so you can respond to messages
  • Have access to a laptop, tablet, or smartphone so you can join online meetings

What will be expected of me?

To be a member of the Forum you will need to:

  • Be committed to and uphold the values and visions of the Trust
  • Follow the Trust's policies and procedures, for example, regarding confidentiality
  • Keen to learn new things
  • Respond promptly to communications
  • Be willing to undergo a Police check (DBS) if over 18
  • Carry out any tasks you may volunteer for (for example write blogs, take photos or produce short videos)
  • Be prepared to speak your mind and to ask if you don’t understand
  • Take an active part in decision-making
  • Treat other people’s views with respect
  • Read any relevant paperwork before each meeting
  • Attend all meetings where possible, and let us know if you can’t come
  • Ensure you are able to stick to the agreed ground rules at the meetings
  • Be able to work well online, as well as face-to-face
  • Attend training as required

What commitment do I need to make?

You will need to:

  • Be able to attend the main meetings which happen four times a year (these are likely to be at a weekend and mostly likely face-to-face)
  • Be able to attend as many evening online meetings as possible (these may happen 8 or more times a year)
  • Help Trust campaigns by, for example,  sharing on social media, talking to others, making campaign materials, or giving talks in your community
  • Create content such as articles, blogs or videos on projects or issues the Trust is focusing on
  • Attend training and events to help you fulfill your role in the Forum
  • Spend some time outside of the meetings helping to organise events or campaigns, or read relevant emails or communications
  • Be able to talk to other young people to share information and listen to ideas and concerns
  • Represent other young people
  • Be a member of the Forum for at least one year

How will the Trust support me in this role?

The Trust will:

  • Ensure that Forum meetings are engaging, with opportunities to learn 
  • Provide a variety of free training opportunities that will help you fulfill the role of Forum member
  • Have a member of staff to support you in the role
  • Offer social events (some online) for Forum members
  • Help with transportation to and from Forum events, if needed
  • Provide refreshments at events

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a computer?

No, but you will need some way of accessing emails, documents, and virtual meetings (this may be through a phone or tablet)

When and where are meetings held?

Our four main meetings (exact dates to be confirmed but roughly spring, summer, autumn, winter) will be held at different locations around our region, most likely at one of our centres or offices. Attendance at these is essential. 

There will also be shorter meetings which will take place online at more regular intervals (roughly eight times a year but may be more frequent)

How will I get to the meetings if I don’t have my own transport?

Where possible we would ask you organise a lift. If this isn’t possible we will help you get to the event so you are not out of pocket, or allow you to join online.

What happens if I don’t attend a meeting?

You will need to let us know if you can’t come, but if you miss lots of meetings you may be asked to leave the Forum.

How many people will be on the Young People’s Forum?

There will be between 10 and 15 young people on the Forum 

Who else will be at the Young People’s Forum meetings?

There will always be at least two members of staff at every meeting. At some meetings we might have other colleagues from the Trust or external guests join us in order to share information, hear ideas and provide support.

How to apply

The Young People's Forum will have a vital role to play in the Trust, so it is important that we get the right people. Please make sure you understand the role, before applying via our volunteer page. We look forward to hearing from you.

Apply now to be part of the Young People's Forum

 

 

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