If proof is needed of the lasting legacy that Encompass has on its participants’ lives, look no further than the (inspiringly named) Youth Board. Made up of young people who have been on a programme, they meet every month to support each other in their community projects.
Every participant on the Journey of Understanding is expected to use their experience to benefit their community when they get home – joining the Youth Board means they don’t have to do it alone. The Youth Board is literally a network of young leaders, making links between youth organisations across London and the UK, sharing resources and people power, and having a jolly good time while they’re at it!
Recently the Youth Board made and sold salad and cakes to students at Syracuse University, raising over £500 for one of its members to spend 4 months volunteering in Palestine and Pakistan. They’re now planning to run a salad bar every week and raise enough money for a Youth Board trip overseas... volunteering with Encompass Indonesia!
Every month a different member chooses a project – from volunteering at a homeless shelter to delivering workshops at their youth centres... to raising awareness for a cause, or even giving blood together!
But that’s not all the Youth Board do. They have a crucial role in shaping Encompass as an organisation. They help us recruit and prepare the next participants for the Journey of Understanding (having experienced it themselves, they know what to say!), they feedback their experiences of the programme so that we can make it better each time, and a representative of the Youth Board sits in on every Encompass Trustee meeting.
So this is a shout-out to our wonderful Youth Board – we love you and we couldn’t do what we do without you!