Big changes start locally

Youth Advisory Panel Self Evaluation

#iwill Blog 3

In my last blog I talked about the key findings from the external evaluation. The young panel members also carried out their own evaluation, looking at the impact being a member of the Foundation’s Youth Advisory Panel has had on them individually.

The Panel told us they feel they’ve gained insight into the business world, are better at decision making and understand more the power and impact those decisions can have. They feel they have built strong professional, working relationships as well as making friends – meeting people they would otherwise not have had the opportunity to.

The outcomes framework they used at Youth Focus North East showed that:

  • 100% improved their decision making skills
  • 85% improved their knowledge of social action
  • 71% improved their confidence
  • 57% improved their communication skills
  • 57% improved their planning skills
  • 57% improved their team working skills

I saw a huge difference in the confidence and abilities of panel members over the duration of their involvement. Something we as funders don’t often get to see.

One example is a panel member who could hardly look me in the eye on first meeting, who wasn’t in school or in work and was, by the end of the programme, confidently coming to assessment visits with me, directly asking questions of young people and staff and now has a job as well as being back at college! Obviously we can’t attribute that solely to the Panel and it has a great deal to do with the resulting relationship with Youth Focus North East but I personally feel the Panel has helped in his growth.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside the Panel and so important in my own professional development. I was delighted to see that the Panel had impacted so positively on them too.

“Sometimes the choices we make are not black and white and it’s hard to step back and answer”

“Going out on assessment visits with Rachel has boosted my confidence”

“I’m better at interacting than before joining”

“I’ve learned to take advice”


You can find the evaluation film here.

Rachel Kyle-Barclay

Programme Officer

Virgin Money Foundation

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