Young Commissioners

Would you or someone you know like to become a Young Commissioner? A key area where young people can make a real difference is decision making and by giving young people a voice and an opportunity to shape our services our offer will improve. The Young Commissioner programme will help support Doncaster's vision, and ensure young people get involved.

The Young Commissioner Programme

Involving young people in decision making is vital, we have therefore launched a Young Commissioners programme which enables children and young people to be actively involved in all aspects of the commissioning process, following the commissioning cycle.

Young Commissioners, next steps

Would you like to be a Young Commissioner, or know someone who would? Please let us know, our team is here to support.

Training is available and when completed, young people are introduced to the Participation and Engagement team, at this point they are invited to attend training where appropriate and very much like the Youth Council, sit within their team as a bank of young people ready to take on commissioning duties. When an opportunity arises, the Participation team are contacted and they will in turn facilitate the Young Commissioners engagement in the requested task. This may involve for example moderation, consultation or interviews.

Our Young Commissioners are supported to complete an accreditation as part of the volunteering hours they are doing to add extra value. Regular communication with school is also undertaken, as not to impact on the young persons education.

Background

Following a successful pilot project, 15 Young Commissioners were trained initially, 4 of which became Young Advisers. One was successful in gaining a Shine Award and another was successful in recognition within the Free Press regarding an award he won through a nomination from school for his continued contribution. We have also trained young people from Parents Voice with additional needs who could support with Short Break moderation and young people within alternative provision.

Recruitment of Young Commissioners

We now follow a locality based model for this initiative and aim to have a pool of Young Commissioners in all localities within the borough; north, south, east and central.

We will work closely with schools to recruit and involve Young Commissioners with any projects or work that we are asked to be involved in.

Process

Once we have recruited the young people, promoted the role and trained them, using the newly developed resources, including progress book and learning aids, they are ready to join the Young Commissioners bank of volunteers.  They are also registered with UK Youth and continue to log any hours they do, to gain additional accreditation.

The young people will continue to be engaged with regular bi monthly meetings, this was proposed to be at the Sober Social due to its central location, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic these meetings have been and sometimes will continue to be virtual. The meetings are for updates, additional training and also for the group to bond and socialise. The Youth Council will also hold two seats for Young Commissioners to link into their priorities; this will again ensure a joined up approach.

There is a request for service form attached, please download this and complete if a Young Commissioner is needed for your service, and send back to YourVoice@doncaster.gov.uk

Training

The new training package has been greatly condensed to fit into a training day; this can now be completed within approximately 3 to 4 hours. Further information is down-loadable.

The main areas the young people will be trained on would be the commissioning cycle, social value, procurement including how to score an application. 

There is flexibility with the programme which can be spilt into 1 hour’s sessions for schools if delivered in lesson.

The progress book also works hand in hand with UK Youth Challenge and Bronze award.

Impact

Once recruited and trained, the Young Commissioners have a real opportunity to shape future service provision and in addition gain essential skills, insight and confidence as a result of being involved in the programme. 

In particular the Young Commissioners will: 

  • Ensure that the voice of children/young people is heard and acted upon at meetings, including board meetings.
  • Provide a service users perspective, including having input in making the decision on which organisations will be awarded contracts/grants and play a valuable ongoing role by attending regular meetings with key staff to share findings and to allow the Young Commissioners to discuss and contribute actively to those findings including quality assurance of services and designing of new services.

Contact for general information and enquiries:

Do you know any young people who would like to become a volunteer Young Commissioner? Do you require a Young Commissioner to support with your project? Does your service need to become more youth friendly? Contact: YourVoice@doncaster.gov.uk 

 

Last updated: 22 April 2021 12:50:11