The Coronavirus pandemic has really reduced the amount of physical activity we get day-to-day. We have got an awesome new challenge that will be a great way to get active and outdoors as well as supporting the British Youth Council!
Walk or run 100km in one month!
It’s a very simple challenge, just grab your trainers, your headphones (your dog or kid if you have one!) and go out for a walk. If you plan on spreading it out over the whole month, that’s just 2 miles per day! And just like you would for a regular challenge event, you can set up a fundraising page linked to the British Youth Council (we recommend Virgin Money Giving).
If you need any information or help, the British Youth Council are here to support you throughout your challenge.
Make sure to send through your photos and updates so we can share and celebrate your progress.
I have direct debits for the causes I care about, and like lots of people across the UK, I think about where my money could help the most. One of the organisations I’m passionate about is the British Youth Council. I gained so much valuable confidence and experience by being on the trustee board over a decade ago, and I’ve always wanted to give back in some way.
During Coronavirus, people’s thoughts also turned to death. According to Farewill, there has been a 267% rise in people making wills from home during the crisis.
My mind was already focussed on loss, as sadly my husband died suddenly in 2018. He died without a will, which caused extra problems. After coming through the worst of the grief I decided I was going to do more to help other people prepare better for death.
Most people in the UK do not have a will – some estimates put it at 60%. The older you get, the more likely you are to have got round to it. But I’m on a mission to change that and encourage younger people to think about their wills.
So the first step I took was sorting my own will out in 2020, and in it I left a gift to the British Youth Council. I felt really proud to put the organisation down for what is called a pecuniary gift, which means that the British Youth Council will receive a specific sum of money, rather than a percentage of the money I leave behind. You can do it as a percentage if you prefer. I now have the title of being the first known British Youth Council alumnus to have left a gift in their will!
This process is called ‘legacy giving’ and is estimated to be worth £2.2bn a year to UK charities. It can be an incredibly useful stream of income, because organisations can model for the long term future when they know they have legacy income. However, my experience of working in the charity sector in my career, most people choose to give to local charities or the very large ones. Mid-size and national organisations can often miss out because it’s hard to attract legacy giving, and youth organisations may be not the most easy place to have conversations about death.
Dealing with death is something that many young people have to go through. A parent of children under 18 dies every 22 minutes in the UK; so we need to change how we talk about death as a society.
To fulfil my new mission, my second step was to set up a new type of online will writing service – I’ve called it Lemons.Life and I’ve launched it this year to target a younger age group to do their will. A traditional will for an older person might contain information on what they wanted to do with their property or jewellery, but actually younger people are starting to consider their ‘digital afterlife’ as well as their physical possessions. What would you want your family to do with your Facebook or all the photos you have online?
And, in the end the most important thing to consider is what you would like to have happen to your body and what happens at your funeral. These can seem like really difficult questions and they are. That’s why I hadn’t done my will before now.
For most people, there is plenty of time to change your mind, and update your will throughout life, but I hope that one day we all get into the habit of writing a will. I want it to become normal and easy – and I also would love to see charities like the British Youth Council to be able to open up a new stream of long term funding so that they can ensure they are able to empower young people in the next 75 years.
On behalf of all of the Trustees at the British Youth Council, I want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our donors for generously supporting our Big Give Christmas Challenge this year. Your donations have been doubled and with Gift Aid we have raised £4,518!
This incredible total means the British Youth Council can improve their online delivery with young people, making sure they continue to be heard during the Coronavirus pandemic and beyond. Thank you!
Since March 2020, the British Youth Council has been striving to continue to ensure young people’s voices are heard on issues that affect them and your support means we can improve the way we are doing this. Now more than ever, young people need to be heard.
On behalf of the British Youth Council Staff and Trustees, I want to say a heartfelt thank you for supporting the leaders of tomorrow.
This Christmas the British Youth Council is seeking your support to ensure we can continue to empower young people during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Your support will ensure young people continue to be heard on issues that affect them through online delivery and newly designed programmes.
Between midday Tuesday 1st December and midday Tuesday 8th December, all donations to the British Youth Council will be doubled by match funding!
So, if you give £25, we’ll receive £50, give £50, we’ll receive £100 and so on…
We are looking to raise £2,000 which will then be matched to give a grand total of £4,000!
Your support for the British Youth Council Big Give Appeal will be doubled.
Your donation will go towards providing essential equipment and training to continue to empower young people to be heard in a digital setting. This means young people will continue to be heard regardless of restrictions on physical events and meetings. Thank you!
You will have from midday on 1st December until midday on 8th December to make a donation which will be doubled. One donation. Twice the impact.
Your support will ensure young people can continue to be empowered to be heard on issues they care about during covid-19 and beyond. Thank you.
In September I left the British Youth Council after a year-long internship in the Fundraising Team. During my time, I worked across all the funding streams such as trusts and foundations, individual giving, and community and challenge events. I was so lucky in my role to have been able to gain such a wide range of experiences, not only in fundraising but also in youth voice and empowerment.
You can see the impact of the British Youth Council first hand when you meet the incredible young people it works with. I will never forget going to the UK Youth Parliament’s House of Commons Sitting and being blown away by the intellect, passion, and courage of the young people who spoke. I spent the whole time thinking that I would never have been able to talk so articulately and with such power in front of such a large group as a teenager! The Youth Voice programme is such a unique and special part of the British Youth Council.
Fundraising is central to the British Youth Council’s work, and one of my favourite duties in the intern role was getting to know our supporters individually, learning about the reasons they loved the British Youth Council and what made them give. It was also great to provide support for those who took part in challenge events for us, especially to watching them smash challenges whilst raising money for a great cause. We say it time and time again as fundraisers but it really is true – the support received from our donors and funders truly helps to make a difference. My own internship (funded by the Jack Petchey Foundation) demonstrated how fundraising can help to expand the capacity of charity and, in turn, increase its impact.
Another highlight came early on in my internship when I organised a drinks reception for supporters and alumni. It was brilliant to see so many people coming together to catch up, have a drink, and raise funds for the British Youth Council. We also had the opportunity to hear from Mita Desai, a former Chair of the trustee board. Mita has gone on to achieve great success and continues to fight for youth voice through the Young Trustees Movement. Stories such as Mita’s show the incredible impact of the British Youth Council and how it can have such an influence in shaping the lives of its beneficiaries.
Whilst I am sad to be moving on, I am so grateful for the experiences I had during my internship and for the insight it gave me into youth work – I must have enjoyed it because I’m now taking on a role in fundraising at another youth charity! If there was one thing I could ask of those reading this, it would be to please keep supporting the small charities that you love like the British Youth Council. Without your support they would not be able to empower young people to speak up, be heard and make real change.
Charities and youth organisations like the British Youth Council have been significantly impacted by Covid-19 as many physical fundraising events have come to a standstill. So I came up with a way of fundraising for the ones that matter to me and have shaped me into the person I am today.
I hosted The Big 12 Hour Livestream on Saturday 20th June 2020 with the hopes of being in front of a computer for twelve hours, live streaming on YouTube. The concept involved interviewing a number of guests whilst fundraising for the British Youth Council, Hampshire Youth Parliament, Andover Trees United, Unity and my own youth organisation DMK Worldwide. These beneficiaries mean so much to me. They have given me many opportunities to voice my own opinions and get involved within the community of Youth Voice and I only wish that I had found them sooner.
To say the least, the livestream was a challenge. I have done many livestreams before, but never for twelve hours straight, so I really wanted to make sure everything went smoothly, and for the most part it went very well. I interviewed a huge variety of guests, from the British Youth Council’s very own Chair, Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, to Members of Parliament such as Kit Malthouse, MP for North West Hampshire and Minister of State for Crime and Policing. The full livestream with all interviews can be found on Youtube. There were of course a few technical difficulties here and there but it was definitely an awesome learning experience. There could perhaps be another livestream coming in the future, for an even longer time.
It is so important during these challenging times to continue to support small charities like the British Youth Council, through fundraising initiatives and donations, and I would encourage anyone who is passionate about Youth Voice to do the same.
On Sunday 26th April, a number of our supporters took part in a nationwide initiative, the 2.6 Challenge, to raise funds for the British Youth Council. Following the outbreak of Coronavirus and its devastating impact on the charity sector, the organisers of the London Marathon decided to put together a campaign which could help individual charities, and the sector as a whole.
The campaign called on people across the UK to complete a challenge based around the figures 2.6 or 26 from their homes or in their local area. It was an opportunity for charities like us to make up the income that would have been lost due to cancelled fundraising events. People were able to sponsor those who took on challenges and also donate straight to the charity.
Our CEO Jo Hobbs climbed 26 floors of the stairs in her flat, raising an amazing £228, whilst our trustees ran a marathon between them to raise a further £653. We also received some significant gifts from a number of supporters, and altogether raised £2,001 with gift aid – a brilliant amount for a day of fundraising!
Joe Stockley, one of our trustees involved in the marathon run, said of his involvement in the challenge, “I wanted to get involved to help the British Youth Council with fundraising because I know first-hand how important the work the British Youth Council do every day is, for the young people they support and champion. Due to Coronavirus, it’s really hard for charities right now, and I wanted to do my bit as a trustee to support the organisation, so it can still be empowering young people in ten years time.”
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the 2.6 Challenge for us and also everyone who gave either through sponsorship or as a donation the initiative! Your support at this challenging time means more than ever and ensures we can continue to empower young people with online delivery of our services and programmes.
The outstanding support of our British Youth Council community during this time has been truly amazing and we really are so grateful – thank you!
On 14th November, the British Youth Council held a drinks reception for the Friends of the British Youth Council and many of our supporters. It was a fantastic evening which saw alumni, donors, staff, trustees, partners and friends come together and celebrate all that they have made possible by supporting the British Youth Council!
After some initial welcome drinks, our guests were welcomed by Deputy Chair of the British Youth Council, Kyle Parks, who spoke eloquently about what the charity has achieved over the past year, including youth forum work with both the Bank of England and the NHS, and follow up work on the Youth Select Committee work. He also stressed how incredible it was to see British Youth Council alumni from many different years all in one room “connecting or reconnecting with each other and keeping relationships within the British Youth Council community strong”. He set out the future plans for the charity commenting; “we are on a great path, maturing as a charity, as we aim to move up a gear in our fundraising and partnerships.”
Rounding up the welcome speech he went on to introduce Mita Desai, our keynote speaker for the evening. An unyielding advocate for youth voice, Mita has been fighting for young people to be heard continually throughout her career. She spoke about her experience as a trustee on the British Youth Council board and later as Chair, describing it as a fantastic learning experience which shaped her future career. Specifically, Mita now manages the Young Trustees Movement for the Social Change Agency, with aims of doubling the number of Young Trustees by 2024. This work was directly influenced by Mita’s time on the board, which inspired her to see the potential of young people and the immense benefit of including their voices in decision-making.
She ended her speech by reminding attendees of the importance of lifting young voices up and making sure they are heard. She encouraged everyone to continue to support the British Youth Council to ensure we can carry on our work and keep empowering young people to speak up and make a change. Small regular donations to the British Youth Council are one of the most beneficial ways to support the charity into the future we’d love you to set up a regular donation.
A huge thank you to everyone who attended and made the evening so special, we hope to see you at future Friends of British Youth Council events!
If you missed this event but are interested in attending future events, please do make sure to sign up to the Friends of British Youth Council mailing list.
A massive thank you to all our donors for donating generously during our Big Give Christmas Campaign; your donations have been doubled and with gift aid we have raised a total of £4,220 and smashed the target!
This fantastic total means the British Youth Council can deliver the Youth Voice Leadership Development Programme, which will help young people to develop their leadership skills and increase their confidence to speak up on the issues they care about. In turn, young people are prepared to step up as leaders and create change locally, regionally and nationally. The programme also helps to fulfil our commitment to increasing the diversity of young people in leadership roles.
This was reflected by a beneficiary speaking of their time on the 2018/19 programme: “I now have the ability to publicly speak in a confident manner. It has opened so many more doors, I am now a confident leader.”
The Leadership Development Programme is just another demonstration of how the British Youth Council creates platforms and opportunities for young people to have their voices heard on the issues that are important to them. Through our various programmes, we develop young people’s confidence as well as their debating and leadership skills by giving them opportunities to voice and amplify their opinions. Your donations will enable us to support even more young people to become leaders of change!
On behalf of the British Youth Council Staff and Trustees, I want to say a heartfelt thank you for supporting the leaders of tomorrow.