What is it like to be a member of the Youth Board? 

9 July, 2024

Over the past 18 months, the National Saturday Club Youth Board has been meeting as part of an important new initiative. The Youth Board was assembled to give young people a bigger voice in the future development of the National Saturday Club, championing the thoughts, feelings and insights of a diverse group of young people. 

Made up of nine former Club members aged 14–21-years-old, the group met regularly, sometimes in person and sometimes online, for a range of discussions. They underwent training, had VIP access to events and experienced bespoke workshops, led by the National Saturday Club’s network of industry partners. 

Youth Board 2022-24 at their very first meeting in Somerset House, London 2022

With applications now open to join the Youth Board in 2024, the current members have come to the end of their term. During one of their final meetings, the group spent time reflecting on being part of the Youth Board. 

“It’s enabled me to push myself forward, advocate and use my voice”, shared Max, who wanted to join the Youth Board to put forward a personal perspective after enjoying his time as a Club member, a common theme across the group.  

Due to it being a new initiative, nobody knew exactly what to expect. Betsy anticipated the Youth Board to be “formal and business-ee” but said instead the experience had been fun, communal and more casual than expected and has eagerly anticipated each meeting with excitement.  

Throughout the years at the in-person Youth Board meetings in London

Many members were keen to make impact and thought the opportunity to be on a Board would be something that might stand out on their CV. However, it has turned out to be far more rewarding and the Youth Board has equipped the group with a huge variety of new skills and experiences.  

Betsy went on to explain that being part of the Youth Board has enabled her to make “valuable connections”. She said: “You need contacts and connections and it has been incredible to meet new people. I am hoping that will help with my future”.  

The Youth Board opened Betsy’s eyes to her strengths and different opportunities. She said, “It has made me understand what I want to do in life – I want to make impact in creative education”.  

Rishaan reflected that he’s developed important communication skills. “I’m not afraid to speak to managers and people in power” he said. “If you don’t speak up, nothing will be implemented. You need to be part of the change”.  

Youth Board members took part in important theory of change workshops, we’re invited to the Summer Show private view as VIPs and discussed their thoughts with the Board of Trustees.

Over the course of their term, the Board have come together to discuss important aspects of the National Saturday Club such as approaches to reaching more young people and making the programme even more inclusive to all. Their conversations have had a real impact on the National Saturday Club. Their perspectives have been taken into account and many of their recommendations have been actioned by the charity’s central team and the Board of Trustees.  

Liam’s personal highlight was the meeting at Somerset House in London about inclusivity. “I believe that giving a voice to minorities and people with different identities is really crucial. People from those backgrounds feel a struggle to be heard, it was a difficult conversation but we ensured everybody’s voices were heard and considered”.  

With applications for the next Youth Board now open, Max advised anyone applying to “understand your opinions. Your views will be understood and respected, nothing has been dismissed or glossed over”. 

Rashaan wrapped up the discussion by saying the Youth Board has become a “family”.  

“We’ve become a small community and have brought our own experiences together. Family sums up the experience perfectly”. 

After the last Youth Board meeting, members were given goody bags with personalised stationary and a certificate of completion, before heading off for a trip on the London Eye!

Applications are now open to join the new Youth Board and close midday, 9 August. Click here for all the information and to apply.

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