“Before Young People in the Lead I didn’t realise my own power”
“I wasn’t feeling myself; I wasn’t very well. I guess I was trying to find my path in life, so I volunteered with The Wildlife Trust.”
Her mentor, Emma, suggested getting involved with the youth council for The Wildlife Trust. From this, Jemimah now 24, discovered a passion for the environment.
“If anyone presents you with an opportunity, always say yes!”
This volunteering role provided a springboard of opportunities for Jemimah, including speaking at national lobbies and being a young leader. Then in 2020, Jemimah was selected to be part of The National Lottery Community Fund’s Young People in the Lead (YPiL) advisory panel.
What is Young People in the Lead (YPiL)?
YPiL is a panel made up of 10 incredible young people recruited from National Lottery-funded programmes. They were all selected because they are passionate about the power of youth voice and have a strong desire to bring positive change for their community.
YPiL receives a tailored package of support to enable them to reach their future goals. They also work with us to embed youth voice across The National Lottery Community Fund’s work - from strategy development to decision making in grants, to running events to encourage other organisations to invest in youth voice.
Young Person on a Mission
Jemimah’s YPiL experience has been broad and varied.
She was involved in designing and delivering YPiL’s International Youth Day event in 2020 and presented to over 200 people. The content she created for the event has now been transformed into a ‘top tips for Youth Voice’ document used by funding staff.
She also joined the Phoenix Fund funding panel group to represent young people’s voices and featured in a Beatfreeks Instagram live event, where she spoke about her own work and advocated for the importance of Youth Voice. “I felt excited and proud of myself, I didn’t think I had the ability to do that. Before YPiL I didn’t realise my own power. I’ve come a lot more into my own.”
“I feel like the last year and half helped take me on a journey from young person to adult. I understand who I am, what I’m passionate about and how to make an impact”.
This newfound confidence empowered Jemimah to apply to be a Funding Officer right here at The National Lottery Community Fund. When Jemimah joined the YPiL panel last year, she could never have imagined it would lead to a permanent job. Furthermore, in this new role, she has the opportunity to ensure youth voice is really heard. “I could never have happened without YPiL” she says.
Keep saying YES
What advice would Jemimah give other young people who may be feeling a little lost? “Go for it! Keep putting yourself out there. You don’t know what you’re capable of or where it will take you. Every voice and experience matters.”
What next for YPiL at The National Lottery Community Fund?
Due to the success of YPiL in England we have now invested in setting it up in each of the UK’s nations to ensure the youth voice is represented across our portfolios. We are also working with other funders to ensure we are listening to young people as a collective to inform our ways of working.
Watch this space for further updates and for recruitment of our next YPiL teams in the summer.
Young people are not just the future - they are here now, and they offer insights and solutions we could only dream of coming up with on our own. Find out more about our Youth Voice work and why it’s so important to us.