The story of Reach 2024's Young Advisors

In just a few months, six young people designed a national youth event to help others find a voice—this is their story.

Four young people wearing purple polo shirts and yellow lanyards smile for the camera.

In March 2024, we celebrated another inspiring Reach event with the Generation CashBack consortium. For more than 100 delegates, Reach for Your Voice was a transformative day of new connections, new skills and new confidence. For the Young Advisors who designed the event, though, it was something even more: the final step on a journey months in the making. 

When they met for the first time over Zoom last October, these six young people (aged 14 to 17) had no idea how close they would become or how building an event on youth voice would help them develop into leaders themselves.

A group of young people wearing purple polo shirts sit at a large conference table working on Dynamic Youth Award booklets.

I enjoyed getting to meet new people and boosting my confidence. I feel like I've grown a lot since the first meeting...I was quiet and didn't contribute at the start and while I'm still working on it, I feel more confident now talking in front of others and contributing my thoughts and ideas.

Young Advisor on their experience designing Reach

As planning began, the Young Advisors sharpened their decision-making skills, choosing everything from the event’s title and timings to its guest speakers and the entertainment that would be on offer.

In designing the day’s workshops, they thought very carefully about what youth voice really means and what kinds of activities could help young people feel empowered. Together, they created a programme that would help delegates build confidence through creative expression, self-care and connecting with others.

Active Fun would give young people the chance to tackle team-building challenges and create trust. STEM and Decision-Making would encourage delegates to co-operate on plans for imaginary societies and build their own bottle rockets. Mental Health-Themed Arts & Crafts would offer wooden puzzles so young people could decorate and exchange pieces with each other, a reminder of how much we can impact the people around us.

A group of young people smile and pose with a Youth Scotland award certificate.

It was so good to see everyone enjoying it, all the different activities.

Young Advisor reflecting on their favourite part of the event

On the day, the Young Advisors were front and centre to make sure all ran to plan.  They delivered the opening plenary and energisers, directed delegates and met with Minister for Victims and Community Safety, Siobhian Brown to answer questions about the event.

In a true celebration of youth voice, they also made sure to create spaces where delegates could reflect and share their thoughts, offering the opportunity to pitch ideas for future workshops, vote on the theme for next year’s Reach event and share how confident they were feeling through jars of colour-coded post-its.

By the end of the event, the team was exhausted but so excited with how it had all come together. When asked about their final thoughts, one Advisor exclaimed, ‘It was so amazing! I want to do it all again!’

About Generation CashBack

Generation CashBack is a CashBack for Communities project delivered by a consortium of Youth Scotland, Scouts Scotland, Girlguiding Scotland and The Boys’ Brigade, funded by Scottish Government. It centres around two main strands of project delivery (‘Grow’ and ‘Lead’) and aims to ensure that young people from areas of deprivation and those experiencing disadvantage can benefit from high-quality community-based youth work opportunities.

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