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Youth Advisory Panel

Operating from 2015-2021, Spirit of 2012’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) was established to ensure that young people were part of our decision-making.

Spirit of 2012’s Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) was established to ensure that young people were part of our decision-making. From 2015 – 2021, there have been three panel cohorts with members from across the UK. On alternate years, the YAP was given responsibility for allocating money through the Youth Challenge Fund to projects they felt would empower young people.

Each YAP cohort managed the entire process, from developing the initial application criteria to making the final decisions on allocating funds. Since 2015, the YAP has awarded funding to four projects through the Youth Challenge Fund:

Reading Rooms

Delivered by Verbal Arts Centre in Derry/ Londonderry, Reading Rooms was a literacy group for young offenders in Northern Ireland. Groups met weekly in a safe, facilitated space to discuss and share reflections on carefully selected written pieces.

Rhythm and Respect

Delivered by Plymouth Music Zone, Rhythm and Respect was a community music project based in Plymouth. The project brought isolated people of all ages and abilities together to make music, develop skills and showcase performances.

Creative Minds

Youth Cymru’s Creative Minds used creativity as a means of removing the stigma of mental ill health for young people in South Wales. The young people were trained as Champions, and they devised and delivered social-action projects to spread a positive message about mental health, and the help that is available.

Bay Create

Whitley Bay Big Local’s Bay Create is a new project that uses creativity and coastal landscapes to bring under 25s and over 60s together united in the idea that: ‘We are more similar than we are different’. In partnership with Barnardo’s Whitley Bay, Bay Create brings together local residents from different generations for cultural projects inspired by the landscape and shared heritage of Whitley Bay.

Spirit of 2012 is a spend-out Trust, and in 2021, after six years, the Youth Advisory Panel was disbanded as we start to scale back our focus on funding projects. In April 2021, three YAP alumni, Hayley Bennett, Kirsty Ewen and Bethany Steventon-Crinks were appointed to the main Spirit of 2012 Board, meaning the average age of the Board is 42, compared to a sector average of 57.

A summative look at Spirit of 2012’s Youth Advisory Panel

The Spirit of Youth

Six years, three panels and 31 young people later, Spirit has learned a great deal about how to effectively engage a diverse and committed panel of young people to advise on its work, at the same time upskilling and inspiring the young people who volunteered their time to support us. We have also learned a great deal about what we would do differently if we were to set up another youth panel.

Here are our five lessons learned and recommendations for organisations
setting up a youth board or youth advisory panel:

  1. Be clear on the panel’s purpose
  2. Set it up with a test-and-learn ethos
  3. Youth voice does not simply mean “do what young people say”
  4. Evolve according to organisational need
  5. Be realistic about what can be achieved with the resources at your disposal



Youth Advisory Panel members


Carl Konadu (Chair)

Shukri Aden Iman

Kieron Bishop

Alice Black

Ella Ferguson

Richard Glenholmes

Melissa Marshall

Josh Saydraouten

Jack Welch

Victoria Winterton

Paul Wyatt


Michaela Collins (Chair)

Deivydas Andriuskvicius

Hayley Bennett

Reuben Braithwaite

Frankie Hocking

Muhammad Patel

Libby Powell

Eloise Stingemore


Sana Amin (Chair)

Festus Akinsulire

Michael Blake

Thomas Copeland

Abderrahim El Habachi

Kirsty Ewen

Freya Fleming

Ellie Henderson

Sophie Humphries

Bethany Steventon-Crinks

James Wilder