These 30 experts on being young in Ireland today form the SpunOut.ie Action Panel. The action panel’s role is to provide strategic leadership to the team about the information needs of our readership and generate solutions and ideas about how to respond to the ever-challenging information needs of young people.
Actively empowering all young people to create positive social and personal change by:
- Representing voices
- Action Campaigns
SpunOut is unique, in that when we say we are youth led - we mean it. Young people from all around Ireland form SpunOut's Action Panel which gives leadership to the organisation. So you may be wondering how it all works?
How do make sure it all works?
Well we follow best practice in relation to youth engagement and participation. Here's some of the major principals from the National Youth Council of Ireland.
- Voluntary - Youth participation must be, in essence, a voluntary arrangement, if it is to be of any value to the young people involved;
- Informed – Young people should be made aware of what they are getting involved in and what their rights and responsibilities are;
- Relevant – Young people should be able to input into the development of initiatives which should aim to address their needs and deal with relevant issues of importance to them;
- Enjoyable – Young people need to have fun and feel valued, therefore, all youth participation initiatives, no mater how intense, need to be implemented in a way that is enjoyable;
- Developmental – Young people should be given the opportunity to explore issues relating to the society in which they live and be empowered to become active citizens;
- Educational – Youth participation projects should provide young people with opportunities for learning in both formal and informal settings;
- Supported – Youth participation initiatives and activities should be supported, as appropriate, whether that involves training, advice, or guidance;
- Resourced – Activities and initiatives also need to be adequately resourced in terms of staff support, access to information, funding, time span and space to carry out activities;
- Valued – Young people should feel that they are valued and are being taken seriously, as is their work, in order to avoid tokenism;
- Owned – Activities and initiatives should be youth led and young people involved should feel that they have ownership;
- Flexible – In order to meet that changing needs of young people and allow for personal and other work obligations, there needs to be a certain amount of flexibility built into youth participation initiatives;
- Diverse – It is important that all young people are afforded the opportunity to participate and that diversity in groups is not only respected, but sought after;
- Monitored and evaluated – In order to ensure that initiatives are meeting the changing needs of the young people involved and to promote innovative youth participation activities, it is vital that all such initiatives and activities are monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis;
So what do the action panel actually do?
Well funny you should ask! The action panel, in consultation with SpunOut.ie staff, define their own areas of work and their priorities for 2013:
- To create an open forum for young people to engage in discussion around a number of topics
- Act as ambassadors and role models for SpunOut
- To actively offer advise to SpunOut on a variety of topics
- To work on gathering momentum for SpunOut events and promoting SpunOut locally
- To establish an all Ireland connection
- To assist staff in relation to a number of areas to be defined
- Being involved in new IT developments for SpunOut
- To preserve a consistent youth presence in SpunOut's work
- Offering opinion and creating content for the website
- Total involvement in campaigns and empowering other young people around it
- To be consulted on branding decisions
- Involvement in communications, lobbying, engaging with public representatives and talking to the media/other organisations
And written loads of amazing content for the website like...