Mentor to launch youth panel

Mentor is preparing to launch a panel of youth advisors to inform and develop our work by putting young people's voices at the heart of what we do.

10 August 2016 | Mentor News

Mentor is preparing to launch a panel of youth advisors to inform and develop our work by putting young people’s voices at the heart of what we do.

Mentor believes that in order to achieve our goal of providing quality alcohol and drug education at national level, we need to engage further with young people, making them a key part of our process around promoting evidence-based prevention programmes and building resilience to the harmful risks of drug and alcohol misuse.

Through Mentor's Youth Panel, we are empowering young people to make a positive impact on the lives of other young people and their community.

Michael O'Toole, Mentor Chief Executive

Mentor’s Youth Panel will impact all areas of our work, from programme design and delivery to helping us shape the policy landscape, providing a valuable youth perspective. We will work in partnership with Young Advisors, who were selected through a competitive tender process, to establish our youth panel and manage its members.

The Young Advisors network provides training and support to young people aged 15-24, inspiring them to develop their leadership skills and improve their communities through innovative social action.

“We are delighted to have been selected by Mentor to support them in establishing a Youth Panel,” said Young Advisors CEO Linda Steggles. “It is so refreshing to collaborate with an organisation who clearly values youth participation and inclusivity whilst being prepared to invest in providing a meaningful channel to hear the voice and benefit from the value that young people bring to communities and to organisational strategy. We are looking forward to this partnership and to helping Mentor continue to make a difference.”

The young people selected for Mentor’s youth panel will have many exciting opportunities to support and enhance our work, including: contributing to our strategic development; acting as advocates for policy change; supporting our fundraising efforts and helping us reach a wider network; representing Mentor as youth ambassadors at conferences, events and meetings; helping us engage with young people through social media, and enhancing our communications efforts.

It is so refreshing to collaborate with an organisation who clearly values youth participation and inclusivity.

Linda Steggles, Young Advisors CEO

Mentor’s Chief Executive Michael O’Toole welcomed the panel’s launch:

“The introduction of a Mentor Youth Panel will enable us to develop the core value of youth participation throughout Mentor’s work, while broadening our understanding of the different risks affecting young people today.”

Our goal for the youth panel is not only to improve the effectiveness and impact of our work, but to also advance our strategic aims as a youth charity and to ensure our programmes are fully inclusive of the voices we aim to represent.

“Young people often make up more than 40% of the population in deprived areas, yet they are under-represented and under-valued in the decision-making that affects them and their communities,” said Mentor’s Chief Executive Michael O’Toole.”This can lead to feelings of disempowerment, and disengagement from civic life – negatively affecting both the young people and their communities.

“Through Mentor’s Youth Panel, we are empowering young people to make a positive impact on the lives of other young people and their community.”

For more information on the Mentor Youth Panel, please contact Kate O’Brien at kate.obrien@mentoruk.org