Young people’s involvement has hugely benefit TRAIN over the last year as well as the young people themselves. We believe that programs that are developed in partnership with young people are more likely to be effective at engaging them and, therefore, have a greater impact.
Encouraging young people in actively making decisions that affect them has increased the likelihood that the decisions will be accepted, adopted, and become part of their everyday lives.
In addition, empowering the young people of Didcot to identify and respond to community needs helps them become empathetic, reflective individuals, setting them on a course to potentially continue this important work in their future.
Over the past year young people have been attending trustee meetings, sitting on interviews panels for members of staff and volunteers, taken up work placements at TRAIN, 14 young people have completed a ILM level 2 in leadership and have been involved in community events such as, the street fair and also supporting other charities such as Secret Santa.
TRAIN participation pathway gives young people the opportunity to engage with TRAIN at a verity of different strategic levels, it also gives them the chance to progress and gain more responsibility.
Young ambassadors – Young people are engaged at a strategic level and represent TRAIN and other young people at trustee meetings, local community meetings, regional meetings and also interview volunteers and staff.
Young Leaders – Young people who take a leadership role in planning and delivering events or trips to benefit other young people and their community. Engaging in local social action and planning their own community social action projects.
Young Volunteers – Young people that are at the beginning of their additional engagement with TRAIN. Offering their time to support the young ambassadors and young leaders at events.
All young people are encouraged to work towards V-inspired awards to recognise their volunteering commitment.
What I have got from being a young ambassador is a great sense of responsibility it’s helped me to grow up and realise my potential. It’s also a great feeling being able to work long side others that I may not have worked with before. It’s important to have young people at the heart of TRAIN as it gives us a sense of responsibility and we get to get involved with fund raising and helping the charity to progress forward.
TRAIN is in contact with 350 young people in an average year and we believe in the importance of them having a voice about how TRAIN should run, and that their opinions are valued and respected. TRAIN's ethos of youth work reflects this emphasis as we take the initiative to go out and meet young people where they are, regardless of whether that is on the streets, in local parks or in the schools at lunchtimes.
By meeting young people on "their patch" it means that our emphasis of" what can we do for you"? Is genuine because we have intentionally sought them out and not just expected them to come to us. Through discussion and relationship building the young people choose what alternative activities and projects we offer them.
Our young people are asked to evaluate each activity that we run and we aim to undertake an annual evaluation which measures how effective TRAIN has been in helping them, and as a result we are more able to target our support for them. These results are used to formulate the forward direction of the charity and the quality of the work our youth workers bring to the young people they support.