Young Commissioners

Doncaster has an ambition to become one of the most child friendly boroughs within the UK. For this to become a reality there is a need to recognise the importance of children and young peoples voice and act on this. A key area where young people can make a real difference is decision making and by giving young people an opportunity to influence services that directly affect them. The Young Commissioner programme will help support this vision, and ensure young peoples involvement.

The Young Commissioner programme

Team Doncaster partners spend approximately £360 million each year on services for children and young people. Therefore involving young people at the heart of decision making is vital, we are therefore launching a Young Commissioners programme which will enable children and young people to be actively involved in all aspects of the commissioning process, following the commissioning cycle.

Young Commissioners, next steps

Once the Young People have completed the training, they will be introduced to the Participation and Engagement team, at this point they will be 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 will be contacted and they will in turn facilitate the Young Commissioners engagement in the requested task. This may involve for example moderation, consultation or interviews.

The young people will also be supported to complete an accreditation as part of the volunteering hours they are doing to add extra value. Regular communication with school will also be undertaken, as not to impact on the young persons education.

Background

Following a successful pilot project, 15 Young Commissioners have been trained, 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

There will be ongoing training events  where we will be working with Health Watch to recruit more young people and will jointly deliver the session utilising the newly developed training package. Members of the Trailblazer team will also be in partnership. We would look to hold around 10 young people within the bank of Young Commissioners at any one time.

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 will be ready to join the Young Commissioners bank of volunteers.  They will also be 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 is proposed to be at the Sober Social due to its central location. 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 form to the right of this page, 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 will 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 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: dean.mangham@doncaster.gov.uk 

If you would like to  speak to a member of our team call 01302 735301 for further information.

For the Youth Council contact:

For Youth Voice and young peoples engagement. Contact: yourvoice@doncaster.gov.uk or contact Deborah Burton directly: deborah.burton@doncaster.gov.uk 

Last updated: 13 November 2019 10:09:02