The role of the Youth Advisory Panel is to advise Spirit, champion Spirit, make connections for Spirit, and advise on and make specific funding decisions on behalf of Spirit. Through a programme of training, coaching and mentoring, the YAP members themselves exemplify the sorts of empowered young people we want our funding to develop.
A fast-paced induction residential weekend in January 2015 provided the first opportunity for YAP members to meet each other. They learned about Spirit and participated in skills development workshops and team building activities. At their second meeting in March 2015, YAP members received training on strategic communication issues, advised on the design of Spirit’s Leading Voices grant and familiarised themselves with Spirit Board papers. The YAP's July 2015 meeting took place on National Paralympic Day at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, when in addition to experiencing NPD for themselves, YAP members discussed the scope of the Spirit Youth Advisory Panel Challenge Fund – through which they will be awarding two grants of up to £100,000 in total. A sub-group then drafted the grant specification and application materials. The YAP met online in October 2015 to undertake project management training and to feed into Spirit's early thinking about our Spirit of Women programme. After a busy Christmas period assessing expressions of interest for the YAP Challenge Fund, YAP members met in January 2016 to shortlist applications to invite to a more detailed second application stage, as well as to discuss Spirit's forward-looking programme strategy.The YAP next meets in April 2016 to make its grant award decisions for the YAP Challenge Fund.
We are proud to be working with Participation People – a company specialising in youth voicxe and engagement – who support and train the YAP.