Who is eligible to join the Youth Board? 

You’re eligible to apply if you’re between 16-24 years old and live anywhere in the UK. We’re particularly looking for young people who have a range of lived experiences from across the whole of the UK. You can be based anywhere in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland or Wales. We actively encourage and welcome applications from candidates of diverse cultures, perspectives and lived experiences.

How many young people are you looking for? 

We are looking to recruit up to 10 new youth board members. The Youth Board currently has three existing members who are staying on for a transition year and we have recently appointed a new Youth Board Chair for 2023, Abhishna Yogarajan, who was previously a Youth Board member. Abhishna is also a Trustee on the Youth Sport Trust board, a position which is very important to the charity as it means youth voice is represented in the governance of the charity.

Being a member of the Youth Sport Trust Youth Board has been a transformative journey for me. It has helped me improve my social skills, grow into a confident individual, and become a different person altogether. This incredible opportunity has allowed me to use my voice to make a real difference in the lives of young people.

Abhishna Yogarajan, Youth Board Chair
Abhishna Yogarajan

What are we looking for in our Youth Board members?

We are looking for Youth Board members who are passionate about youth development, committed to promoting the values of the YST, and eager to contribute their ideas and perspectives. Diversity, excellent communication skills, and the ability to engage with stakeholders are also valued.

We seek individuals with a curiosity for learning and growth, combined with grit and determination to drive change. They should have the ability to attend YST events, be flexible with their time, and embrace the mission of the YST.

What will you gain from being part of the Youth Board?

Being part of the Youth Board offers opportunities for personal and professional growth, including leadership development, improved communication and advocacy skills, networking, and access to unique learning opportunities. Members can make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people while gaining valuable experiences for their future ambitions.

It offers an opportunity to learn from some passionate people about how to be confident in sharing your voice, and insight into areas of physical activity and people's experiences that you may not have seen before.

How much time do I need to commit?

We understand that you may be busy with school, your job, or with other extra-curricular activities. If you’re accepted, you’ll be signing on for a minimum of two years from September 2023 - July 2025. After that it’s up to you whether you stay on for another year. It’s a flexible commitment, and it’s up to you how many events you attend above the minimum, but the more events you attend the more you’ll get out of it. We do ask that all our Youth Board members attend the Youth Sport Trust annual national conference which is held in March every year.

We’re flexible to your calendar throughout the year and we particularly try to avoid organising too many activities during exam season. If we know you’re a bit stressed or busy, we won’t be bothering you and you can 100% say NO to things.

Do I need to pay anything towards the programme? 

No, all expenses are covered! This includes food, activities, transport, and anything else that comes up. If you need to travel to an event, we’ll either book your travel or reimburse you for it. 

How will I travel to YST events? 

This will depend on the event and the preference of you and your parents or guardians. There may be occasions where we will ask you to make your own way to an event, and YST will reimburse you for the costs (e.g. fuel or train ticket). It’s then up to you whether you travel on your own or are escorted by a parent or guardian. If you decide to travel on your own, you must have your parent or guardian’s permission to do so. If you, or your parent or guardian, are concerned about this ahead of an event, just let us know and we’ll help to find the right solution. We take the safeguarding of our Youth Board and staff very seriously.

As a Youth Board member, I not only found my own voice but became the voice for other young people who needed to be heard. The networking opportunities have been invaluable, connecting me with inspiring individuals who share the same passion for creating positive change. It has truly been a platform for me to make a lasting impact on others, and I am grateful for the growth and confidence this experience has given me.

Abhishna Yogarajan, Youth Board Chair
Abhishna Yogarajan

Who will I be with, and will I make friends?

You’ll get to meet with other young people from across the UK. You can see our Youth Board members from 2022 here and read a bit more about who they are and what they’ve been up to whilst on the Youth Board. It may take a little bit of time to get to know one another at the start as we live in different parts of the UK but eventually with time and especially once we attend our first event together everyone gets to know each other quickly and makes new friends — YST is a like a family as we all have a similar passion to make a difference to others through sport and play.

Will I ever be forced to do an activity? 

No. Our programmes are designed with total flexibility in mind, giving you the opportunity to build and develop the skills you want to, and have the experiences that appeal to you. You can always opt-out or choose a different way of getting involved if you don’t fancy what we have planned.

How do you keep young people safe and well during Youth Board activities?

The wellbeing and safety of our young people is our top priority. You can read our safeguarding policy on our website here.

Many of our staff have undergone a criminal records check and have attended safeguarding training. Our safeguarding leads are available 24/7 at our events should you have any problems. If you have a question about our safeguarding, please do feel free to reach out to [email protected] who will be more than happy to have a chat. 

What will the sleeping arrangements be at any residential events? 

Your accommodation during any residential events will be either single or shared (twin) accommodation. It will be split by gender and under 18’s will only share with others the same age. Individual rooms can always be requested if preferred. If you have any questions or if there’s something we can do to make you more comfortable once you have been accepted to join the Youth Board, just let us know.

Will there be anything in place to enable me to practice my religion whilst taking part? 

We welcome young people from all faiths as well as those with no faiths. Quiet space will be available for prayer, reflection, and quiet time for any young person who needs it at all of our events. Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll have the chance to tell us about these and anything else you might need.

I have special / religious dietary requirements — will these be catered for? 

If you’re accepted onto the Youth Board, we’ll ask you your dietary requirements. Whatever your requirement; vegan, vegetarian, halal, kosher or allergies and intolerances, we can find a way to make sure you have a delicious meal at our face-to-face events.

All of our current youth board members have learnt so much from each other and YST campaigners throughout their time here.

Jess Lonnen, retiring Youth Board member

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I have a disability but want to take part — will this be okay?

Of course! We welcome young people of all abilities and backgrounds to take part and encourage them to apply. If you have specific needs, just let us know this once you’ve been accepted, and we’ll make necessary arrangements to make sure you have a fantastic experience on the Youth Board. The support we offer our young people is tailored to individual needs — you will work with our Team to identify the skills you would like to build and the kinds of opportunities you’d like to get involved with.

What happens if we need to take action against infection spread again?

Government guidelines regarding infection spread will be considered at all face-to-face events. In the past, we’ve changed or postponed face-to-face events or moved our programmes online in order to protect the wellbeing of our young people and staff. We will be keeping a close eye on any developments and adjusting plans accordingly should we need to.

How do I persuade my parent or guardian to let me take part? 

If your parent or guardian has any questions or concerns about the Youth Board, feel free to send them our way — they can email [email protected] for a chat to put their mind at rest.

How do I apply?

You can go to our YST careers page. Click on the “Youth Board” vacancy to view the advert and download the role description which will give you some additional information. If you like what you see, simply click the “apply now” button to start an application. You will be asked to register on the Blue Octopus recruitment portal with your email address.

In your application you will be asked to answer four questions around your passion for the YST mission and the difference you want to make for others, as well as your prior experience of sport and physical activity, your current skills and the skills you wish to develop.

I’m not very good at writing in English — is there another way I can fill out the application form? 

Don’t worry, it’s the content of your answers we care about, not how it is written! However, if you’d prefer to apply and respond to the answers in a different way — for example, recording a video, or a voice note, please feel free to do so. Simply record a video or voice note for each question and email them to the HR team at [email protected] using “Youth Board Application” as your email subject.

I am currently 15 but turn 16 before 01 September. Can I still apply?

Yes! As long as you are aged 16 - 24 by 01 September you are very welcome to apply.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted? 

We’ll let you know by 25 August if your application has been successful. In the meantime, please save 05 and 07 September for a virtual interview (you will only need to attend an interview on one of these dates and you will be able to let us know your preference when you apply).