The British Youth Council Board of Trustees met for a full-day meeting at the end of November – which was the first of many for our new Trustees: Megan, Melody, Noama, and Kieran! We received a phenomenal number of high-quality applications this year for these roles – thank you to all the young people who took the time to write their application and/or attend an interview with us and congratulations to the newly appointed board members.
Megan had this to say about her first board meeting:
‘’It was exciting to attend my first board meeting. I had the chance to get to know the British Youth Council on a whole new level, and learn from such a talented board with a plethora of different experiences.’’
It was also sadly the last of many for Rosie, our Head of Fundraising, who will soon be leaving the British Youth Council staff team – thank you for all of the work you have done to support youth voice in this challenging fundraising climate.
As the festive season approaches, we had a lot of decisions to make and ideas to discuss before the end of 2023 and some well deserved time off for celebrations. It has been a busy time in the months since our last full board session – including helping out with the UK Youth Parliament sitting in the House of Commons chamber earlier in November!
It was a productive board meeting and a good day overall: on my lunch break from Zoom I even managed to bake a batch of carrot cake muffins ready to take to my church the next morning (and have as a snack to boost my energy after lots of thinking!); all of the papers for vote were passed unanimously; and we had the chance to get to know new Trustees in a closed session at the end.
There were a few key highlights from the day that we wanted to share with you noted below.
Our 75th Anniversary
We had a wonderful celebration of 75 years of The British Youth Council recently and we reflected on this at the board meeting as we looked ahead to the next 75 years. The event was full of attendees from a range of backgrounds and relationships to the British Youth Council including alumni, former board members, sponsors, and fundraising supporters. It was a wonderful chance to reflect on the history of the British Youth Council and everything it has achieved as an organisation over the decades, and on a personal level hearing the speeches from alumni was inspirational. The passionate attendees reminded me once again how important the work we do is and the positive impact it has on young people for the rest of their lives. This also linked up with our planning at the meeting for ‘Giving Tuesday’ which I am pleased to say raised over £1,000 for the charity – thank you so much to everyone who donated or match-funded donations.
We discussed the progress made to date on our new strategy. This is an exciting piece of work that we launched at ACM through hosting break-out sessions to gather young people’s input on how the work should be taken forward to incorporate youth voice every step of the way. Now, we are at the point of sending out a survey to gather quantitative and qualitative data that will inform the strategy. Analysis of these results will begin in the new year and we will continue to bring along young people and member organisations on the journey up to design and finally publication. Please do complete the survey if you have been sent one and it is still patiently waiting in your inbox!
Earlier this year all Trustees completed an anonymous governance review which was created to understand the strengths and weaknesses within the board. In particular, the review focused on key skills needed for good governance. This was an important exercise for us to identify any skills gaps that should be closed with learning and development opportunities or external support, as well as to identify the skills that we are very strong in and should be utilising more in our responsibilities as Trustees. We looked over the results in small groups and discussed ideas for filling in any gaps, including looking ahead to next year’s recruitment campaign (so watch this space!). Prior to the board meeting I gave a peer-to-peer teaching workshop about the world of government policy and I look forward to attending workshops led by others to develop my own knowledge as well.