Thank you for supporting Youth Ambassadors

Ensuring YMCA services really speak to the changing needs of young people means embedding young people’s realities at the heart of everything we do.
Our Youth Ambassadors bring lived experiences of what it is to be a young person today. They help to shape the support we offer and give a voice to young people on the issues that affect them.
They are nominated by their local YMCAs and help to determine which policies we need to focus on. They also create and publicise local campaigns to change something in their community that matters to the young people they represent.
The training and experiences Youth Ambassadors get can change their own futures too. We are very proud that two, including Alex, opposite, has now become YMCA England & Wales Trustees.
YMCA Youth Ambassadors spent a residential weekend together in January. The impossible cost of living for young people was one of the subjects discussed.

Taking a deep breath and speaking up

Sitting down with a government minister to represent young people could be intimidating. Alex, however, has seen the impact a YMCA Youth Ambassador can have.
“All Youth Ambassadors want to improve life for young people in meaningful ways,” she says. “I actually hate public speaking but I’ve come to realise that I know what I’m talking about. The lived experience of an issue is the most valuable and that can be honed into confidence for talking about it.
“I have been to the UN in New York to talk about how young people need some ownership of their communities if they are going to stay and not leave. I have also spoken about this at the party conferences.

From Youth Ambassador to trustee

“After being involved with YMCA for a lot of my life, I’ve now become a trustee of YMCA England & Wales.
“I found myself at a round table meeting last weekend with a minister who has youth as part of his portfolio. He said to me ‘I understand what you’re saying and I’m going to have to have a difficult conversation with the Treasury’. I never thought I could have an impact like that!
“I am now very aware of the fact that a lot of YMCA’s work is only possible because of the kindness of supporters. By donating, you are as much a part of impacting the life of a young person as the YMCA housing worker or youth worker.”