Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Fresh Thinking Needed

Youth leadership charity Changemakers is today launching a nationwide campaign to tackle the barriers young people face in accessing leadership roles, including becoming charity trustees.

The aim of the campaign is to increase the proportion of young people in such leadership roles by calling on those already in positions of leadership, including charity trustees – to pledge to use their role to encourage more young people to become leaders. This might be through committing to provide coaching or mentoring opportunities for young people or supporting young people who want to take on positions in public or civic life.

Previously, research undertaken by the Charity Commission has found that young people are hugely under-represented on charity boards. Although 18-24 year olds represent 12% of the total adult population, this age group makes up just a fraction (0.5%) of the trustee population across the two countries. Out of a total of over 810,000 trustees in England and Wales, only 4,220 are aged under 24.

However, recent research carried out by YouGov, published today, shows that young people do have the capacity to be leaders. The research demonstrates that a significant proportion of young people are connected with society and have experience of leadership roles – just under one half of young people have tried to take a lead to change something in their local community, school, college or work. But the YouGov research also found that there is a resistance to young people attaining positions of leadership, due to a perception of society about who they expect to see in these positions and confidence in the credibility of young people.

Adam Nichols, Chief Executive of Changemakers, said:

“Young people are perfectly capable of leading and the research that YouGov has carried out highlights this. There needs to be greater recognition of the adage “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” across all sectors of society – whether that’s in politics, employment or other positions of public or civic responsibility.”

To mark Trustees' Week 2011 trustees of the charity Changemakers Foundation Howard Exton-Smith and Clare Laxton recorded a short video on the important role young people can play on charity trustee boards. You can watch the video here and read about their experiences of trusteeship on our ‘Trustees’ Stories’ page.

For further information about the ‘Fresh Thinking Needed’ campaign, please contact: Anna Collins at or on 07875 522913.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent scheme, please feel free to promote it here am sure lots of the members would be interested in hearing about it and supporting it. Good luck!