Enthusiastic National Voice of Youth, NCVYS

On the weekend of 20-22 February 22 ENVOY members came from all over the country to Brathay Hall on the shores of Lake Windermere to talk about the new Young Partners project. Rebecca Davidson, with the help of ENVOY members, explains all about the most recent ENVOY residential.

What happens at ENVOY residentials?
ENVOY residentials take place in spring and autumn and are usually made up of a mixture of
different workshops and outdoor activities where everyone is able to get to know each better, share their experiences of being a young person and get involved with decision making at NCVYS. This residential was a bit different though as we were going to spend the whole weekend saying what we wanted to include in our BIG Lottery Young Peoples Fund 2 business plan.
“It was a fun and enjoyable weekend with a common goal to get the business plan into action.”
Leon Bruff, 19

At the residential you discussed ideas for the ENVOY business plan. How did you go about developing the plan at the residential?
The business plan is where we give lots of detail about how exactly we are going to spend the money! Back in December a steering group made up of ENVOY members got together to plan how ENVOY would be involved in writing the business plan. One of the first things they did was short list and interview some consultants to help us write the business plan. They also decided that the best way of involving ENVOY was to bring forward the spring residential to February so that all our ideas could be included in the business plan. The consultants from Brathay came to the residential to facilitate some of the sessions and really got us thinking about what the Young Partners project will do for young people right across England.

What ideas were agreed at the residential?
We’d already decided in our original funding bid that ENVOY should have more of a regional focus and that the Young Partners Award should also be expanded regionally but at the residential we really thought about how exactly this would work. We talked about how we would use marketing and communications to get more young people involved and how we would use stuff like face book and msn to keep everyone in touch with each other.
“The regional and virtual elements of the project will get more young people involved who might not normally get the opportunity.”
Linda Epstein, 13

How will the ENVOY business plan help more children and young people to get involved in decision making on matters that affect them?
One of the really exciting things we talked about was ‘hot topics’. This is going to be where young people get together regionally and nationally to talk about the issues that matter to us and then take those views to policy makers. This is really going to help lots more young people get directly involved in the decision making process and make some real changes.
“Hot topics will mean more chance to do something about the important issues that matter for all young people”
Halima Isse, 13

What did you enjoy most at the residential?
One of the best things we did was a ‘visioning‘ exercise where we thought about where we are now and where we think we’ll be in 5 years time at the end of the Young Partners project. We then worked in small groups to put on a performance in the evening
“The performances we did at the residential meant we were able to think about where we are now and where we want to be in 5 years time as a result of the young partners project. It was really exciting to think about what we will achieve”
James Cousins, 14

It wasn’t all workshops though, we also made the most of the beautiful surroundings to get out and do some climbing and team building exercises. Best of all we got to go out on the lake in some big boats! It was hard work but our reward was waiting on the other side of the lake – ice cream for some, hot chocolate for others!

Are there any major ENVOY activities or events coming up in the near future to put the plans into action?
Helping to write the Young Partners business plan has been a really valuable experience but our involvement doesn’t stop there. Once we’ve got the green light to go ahead we’ll be involved in recruiting some new staff and the young facilitators who are going to be helping to develop ENVOY regionally. There’s also going to be another ENVOY residential before July where we can get to work turning the business plan into a real project with massive benefits for young people across England!
“We all cooperated together and got lots of work done and had lots of fun too!”
Rebecca Davidson, 13

Participation Works is a partnership of…
British Youth CouncilChildren's Rights Alliance for EnglandKIDSNational Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesNational Youth AgencyNCB