Our Bright Future, an ambitious partnership led by The Wildlife Trusts and funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, has launched a new guide to help charities recruit young people as trustees.
The Young Trustees Advice Pack contains templates, resources, and real-life examples to help organisations take the first steps in recruiting and inducting young trustees and benefit from greater diversity at board level. Legally, anyone can become a company director at 16 and a trustee at 18. It also shares stories of success from others already on this journey from across the Our Bright Future network. The guide was developed with input from Our Bright Future partner organisations, such as Friends of the Earth, UpRising, Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and Field Studies Council.
Our Bright Future believes young people deserve a voice, a healthy planet, and a thriving greener economy. Currently only 0.5% of charity trustees are between the ages of 18-24.
Our Bright Future has developed over 30 projects to help young people aged 11-24 gain vital skills and experience and improve their wellbeing. The programme also empowers young people, giving them the chance to have their voices heard and obtain a seat at the table where key decisions are made.
Ellie Brown, a young trustee at the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, says:
“Having young people involved in an organisation’s decision-making processes can have a positive effect, as young people bring in new ideas, have different priorities and offer a different perspective. They can also challenge the way the organisation engages with young people, so it becomes easier for young people to become involved with the organisation.”
Young people involved in Our Bright Future projects are passionate to steer the strategic direction in the environmental sector; by improving youth governance practice, they hope what they have to say can be meaningfully taken forward within organisations. The release of the Advice Pack comes a few weeks before the publication of the Our Bright Future Final Evaluation Report, which will include a learning paper about young people working in governance. This paper will share how Our Bright Future’s youth-led approach has influenced youth governance and leadership across many organisations. It will explore ways that involvement in the programme may have influenced organisational processes for involving young people in leadership and decision-making.
On July 26, Our Bright Future is hosting a Zoom event that will look through the new Young Trustees Advice Pack and explore how to take the next steps in diversifying a board. Participants will have the opportunity to hear from guest speakers including Grace Corn, a trustee at Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, and Pip Sayers, General Council at Woodcraft Folk. They will be discussing their experiences, followed by an interactive Q&A session. You can find more information and sign up to the event here.
Cath Hare, Programme Manager, says:
“Overall, 19 organisations involved in Our Bright Future stated that they have established, or are planning to establish, youth governance more widely in their organisation. We hope more organisations will follow in this direction and champion the power of youth voices”.