On Thursday 22 June, we celebrated the achievements of our 2016 National Youth Ambassadors and welcomed in the new National Youth Ambassadors for the year ahead at our offices in 2 St Pancreas Square, King’s Cross. At the event, last years Youth Ambassadors told their stories of how the programme has positively impacted their lives which were described as inspiring, passionate and moving.
Keith Exford (Clarion Housing Group Chief Executive), Sue Killen (Chair of the Foundation), Michelle Reynolds (Group Commercial Director) and a variety of staff from Clarion and external partners attended to thank and celebrate all that our ambassadors have achieved for themselves and our organisation.
Our Youth Ambassadors are a mix of both Affinity Sutton and Circle housing young residents who have contributed to over 100 hours of volunteering working on projects from mental health to helping young tenants with finances and training digital champions to make a lasting contribution to their communities.
The most inspiring part of the evening was hearing the ambassador stories and how much the programme has enhanced their chances in life. Adam Alevi, 2016 National Ambassador said "The programme has given me the confidence I have waited so long for."
Siobhan Cunningham, Youth Engagement Officer commented "since 2012 we have seen 30 young people go through the programme, with 20 using the experience to help them get jobs, 31 accredited training outcomes and over 2600 volunteer hours committed."
What have our Youth Ambassadors done so far?
As well as improving perceptions of young people throughout the years, our ambassadors have been involved in running diversity and equality workshops, speaking at various conferences and created campaigns around disability and LGBT awareness.
They have also created an Under 25 area of our website, a new app for all young people leaving home for the first time called ‘Hometruths’ and a research report into the needs of young residents which is helping us with new strategies for the future. These initiatives were all run by the ambassadors themselves and included partnering from The Mix http://www.themix.org.uk/ and http://www.iwill.org.uk/.
Take a look at our National Ambassador snapshot to see the huge impact they have had across our communities:
Last night we introduced the 2017 National Ambassadors and we are so excited to work with them for the next year on their big plans. To find out more about them please head to the website http://www.affinitysutton.com/nationalambassadors/ and watch the film which will explain more about the programme.