• Saturday 13 February 2016
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The National Youth Reference Group

Val Keen and Kylie Wood at NYRG website launch

CAYSH and the NYRG

CAYSH's commitment to place young people at the heart of everything we do goes beyond our own work. We're part of the National Youth Reference Group which gives a voice in Government to young people nationwide and provides best practice models for partners across the UK. 

NYRG website goes live

That National Youth Reference Group was formally launched on March 25th 2010 at St Basil's in Birmingham. The launch, that we attended, enabled all the contributing organisations to get together and review progress to date.

The Group is made up of young people aged 16-25 from across England who are or have been homeless. The NYRG exists to assist National Government, Local Authorities and other organisations to develop and improve their involvement opportunities for young people.

Here's what CAYSH's Caroline Fowler had to say about the NYRG launch:

"St Basils sent me an email in the summer of 2008 about opportunities for young people to get involved and have their voice be heard nationally – an email that could not be ignored! Something about the way the email was written was really appealing and I immediately had a vision of what it could look like so I quickly grabbed the opportunity and put this to the tenant panel. Two people put themselves forward to represent CAYSH - Sabrina and Bianca and we were off. Janna (Bianca’s support worker) and I held a meeting with them and encouraged them to put a presentation together. They were really motivated which is one of the really rewarding things when you do this kind of work. Bianca and Sabrina and me went up to Birmingham on a hot sunny day in August 08 and it was the beginning of a journey for our young people within CAYSH and young people nationwide.

"I speak on behalf of the young people from CAYSH who have benefited and have had the opportunity to be heard. The NYRG has given young people a platform from which they can advise local and national authorities on how services should be shaped and how best to deliver support in a way that gets positive results. For both myself and Janna to be part of this journey with our tenants has been rewarding and an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes I think I get more nervous than the tenants do and I am immensely proud when they go on stage and give a presentation.

"Five young people from CAYSH have had the opportunity to attend training sessions at St Basils and run workshops around the country since that first meeting. Kylie Wood is currently the young person’s representative from CAYSH and today she and I attended the official launch of the NYRG going live. Kylie also recently attended a morning at Camden council speaking about service user involvement and how the NYRG and support services have impacted on her life. As a result, she has been asked to assist in property visits with the Supporting People team at the Council. Watching each young person develop and grow in confidence, to see their self esteem soar sky high and to be a tiny part of that is an honour."

CAYSH's involvement in the National Youth Reference Group is part of our wider programme to engage with the people we help to produce the services most likely to help them and to share our learning with partners across the UK. If you would like to get involved with the NYRG, email or see the NYRG website for an application form.