Meet our Ambassadors

The Future Voices Group puts youth voice at the heart of our organisation. Collectively these thirteen young people feed into our vision and strategy and act as our ambassadors and advocates for young people across England on the issue of employment.

 
22
Edinburgh

Alex Morawski

22
Edinburgh

Name
Alex Morawski

Age and location
22 years old. Edinburgh.

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
People’s backgrounds are too determinant of where they end up. Too many young people are unable to access high quality careers and opportunities which are meaningful to them. It’s something that we need to tackle collectively.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
Right now, I’m working. I’ve managed to find a job since being unemployed after graduating. I’m looking to do some more volunteering once I’ve settled in.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
With the impact of lockdowns weighing on everyone so much, I really value any chance I get to go outside and into green space. I’m desperately trying to keep my plants alive indoors, but failing miserably. It’s important to find those things that keep your mood up.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
The goal is to make sure young people’s needs and interests are taken into account by government, charities, employers, education providers and others. The FVG will contribute to embedding youth voice and to positively, systemically changing the culture and practice of these groups.

Annie Bocock

22
Lincoln

Name
Annie Bocock

Age and location
22
Lincoln

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
It should be far easier for young people to find meaningful, paid work.I dropped out of university and found that getting work despite your experience or education can be hard for young people. I was mentally vulnerable and working-class, two barriers which left me in NEET status. Nowadays, I’m in a minimum wage retail job, whilst I earn enough money to restart university. Alongside that I do an enormous amount of unpaid voluntary work.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I’m working in retail until September when hopefully I should be restarting university. Alongside this, I’m currently volunteering for a range of organisations.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Returning to university is a high priority. Previously it was not a healthy environment for me, so choosing the university I attend and preparing to start again is really important.

Activism and volunteering are important to me. I feel like I’m evolving into the person I want to be and it’s really exciting. I’m having a lot of fun gaining new skills, meeting new people and learning new things.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to make tangible, measurable, inclusive and sustainable change. Helping the Youth Futures make decisions that would best impact young people’s chances of securing meaningful work, being an ambassador for the organisation and the issue of youth employment. I want to be able to use design-thinking to ideate new ways that we can make impact.

18
South East London

Cindy Boa

18
South East London

Name
Cindy Boa

Age and location
18, London

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
Youth Futures is one of the most exciting organisations that I’ve come across. Its unique structure and approach to tackling youth unemployment appealed so much so that I knew I wanted to be a part of this movement to create lasting change for the generations of youth after me, using my voice to represent others with similar lived experiences to me.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I’m a Business Development and Strategy Consulting Intern at a healthcare consulting firm in my gap year. I’m also a Volunteer Vaccinator for the NHS, an entrepreneur and an incoming summer intern for Berenberg Bank. After my gap year, I’ll be studying at UCL.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Being able to establish balance in my life!
As well as working to achieve goals that are unexpected of me.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
Be a representative for South London teenagers/ESOL/British Black teenagers at tables where impactful change can be actioned.

19
Solihull

Ed Chaplin

19
Solihull

Name
Ed Chaplin

Age and location
19, Solihull

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
Research by The Institute of Leadership and Management found that nearly 50% of UK employers wouldn’t feel comfortable knowingly employing a neuro-divergent person. This, along with my own experience of trying to get an education as an autistic person, encouraged my passion for equal opportunities and diversity, something which I feel Youth Futures champions. I am very happy to be part of that.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I am currently NEET, but am looking to try college again in September. I enjoy volunteering and am hoping to get back to it when lockdown lifts.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Trying to be kind and helping people is my priority. I am also very passionate about equality and my special interests which are baking, sewing, Dungeons & Dragons and cinema.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I would like to be involved in helping other autistic people have their voices heard on issues around unemployment rather than being spoken over by non-autistic people. I would also like to amplify voices from other groups who face barriers finding employment.

21
County Durham

Isha Shakir

21
County Durham

Name
Isha Shakir

Age and location
21, County Durham

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?

I am determined to remove the barriers preventing young people from obtaining meaningful employment, having overcome some of these barriers personally and been affected by the flaws in the educational system.

Attending a non-selective state school in County Durham, I was told multiple times by my teachers that I was not intelligent enough to go to university. Despite their advice, I studied law at the University of York and I achieved the highest academic score in all three years of study. Additionally, I faced significant racism from fellow students that was unaddressed by my teachers. I found this unacceptable and something that I am determined to change for future generations. I am excited to represent young people generally, as well as the Muslim community and the North East region.

If I had listened to the advice of my teachers, and didn't have the support I had from my family, I know I would be in a very different place and would not have had faith in myself to reach my full potential. I hope my story can empower young people to believe in themselves.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I am studying for a Bachelors of Civil Law at the University of Oxford. Prior to this, I graduated top of my year with a First Class degree in Law from the University of York. I volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau and was awarded the 'Exceptional Young Volunteer' award from Darlington Council.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
I am working hard to complete my legal studies to inspire more diverse people to embrace a career in law. I aim to become a barrister. My activism is also important to me; I enjoy addressing societal problems. For example, the Islamophobia I have experienced led me to deliver educational talks in schools.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to change the system, removing the barriers that all young people face when seeking meaningful employment. I am particularly passionate about addressing issues those from ethnic minority backgrounds face and pushing for more opportunities for young people in the North East.

Joel England

21
Bristol

Name
Joel England

Age and location
21, Bristol

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
After going through school and college with lots of support and finding out about Youth Futures I wanted to be a part of something where I can help others that are struggling.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
Part time working at Waitrose.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Family, friends and work.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
Helping Young people in many different ways and giving them confidence in their abilities.

Lauren Aird

23
Leeds

Name
Lauren Aird

Age and location
23, Leeds

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I grew up in a low-income, single-parent family, which primarily relied on benefits and welfare schemes to live. I realised there was a social stigma surrounding benefit recipients and young people from low-income backgrounds. Society perceived us as ‘lazy’ or ‘unwilling to work’, whilst employers viewed us as too young and inexperienced. Job searching whilst being stereotyped for my socio-economic status weighed heavily on my shoulders.

When I found out about the Future Voices Group, I realised every negative experience I faced could influence real change in how society supports marginalised young people into meaningful work and training"

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I am studying Health and Social Care at college and plan to attend Leeds Beckett University to study Youth Work and Community Development. I’m also looking at volunteering opportunities in the youth work and social mobility sector.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Laying the foundations to get to university in the next couple of years. I didn’t do too well in school, so I’m retaking my maths GCSE.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
Every UK region has seen funding for youth services slashed by more than 60% since 2010, causing countless youth club closures. I want to create new platforms and services that young people can access, which emulate the dynamics of a youth club, but also offer vital support and advice surrounding work, education or training.

Max Spencer-Roe

19
Liverpool

Name
Max Spencer-Roe

Location
Liverpool

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I was working for the Widening Participation team in Health Education England when I was invited to a Youth Futures meeting. I couldn’t help but feel like everyone was speaking about me because of how relatable the issues were.

I wanted to join the group because of my experience with mental health. I want to break down barriers to meaningful employment for those who are struggling and created and inclusive environment across the nation."

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I currently work as a Clerical Officer at Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Though I am in employment I am looking to change my career and I aim to become a recruitment consultant.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Discovering who I am and what I want to do with my life is something I think about everyday, however I am enjoying the process. My friends and family are always very important to me as they pull me through the tough times and keep me motivated.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to change employers’ negative views of young people and get rid of stereotypes. I believe education is important, however I think employers should look at a person’s values and attributes as a priority.

Naomi Robinson

24
Tottenham

Name
Naomi Robinson

Age and location
24, Tottenham

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I wanted to join the Futures Voices Group because I have so much to share about my experience of finding meaningful employment. Equally, I want to learn from others about their journey and finding employment where they can thrive. I believe that youth employment is a social issue with so many knock-on effects. I wanted to join an organisation that is committed to addressing this problem.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2018 with a degree in geography. Currently, I’m working at a leading technology consultancy as an analyst, initially starting on the Business and Technology Graduate scheme. My interests with technology lie within User and User Experience research.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
Right now, I’m focused on being intentional with everything that I am committing to, ensuring that I am bringing value to everything that I am doing and continually learning.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to shape how youth employment is viewed within society by bringing to light that some young people, especially from marginalised communities, face challenges to find or thrive in employment or training.

Plamena Marinova

17
Norfolk

Name
Plamena Marinova

Age and location
17, Norfolk

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I first heard about the opportunity through a youth worker I often do youth voice work with. I wanted to join because the aim of the group really resonated with me as I have many friends (from various different backgrounds) with experience of youth unemployment like myself. I really wanted to see how I can help, and what can be done to improve the issue.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
Currently I am doing my A-levels;
volunteering with Reuse Orbis, The Youth Advisory Board and the Diss Youth Town Council.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
In my life right now, the most important thing is my family and their health, as well as keeping open minded about new opportunities and finding a way to use every circumstance productively both in my studies and in other things I do.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to be a part of easing the lives of young people applying to work by making the process more accessible and understandable for them.

I want to try and help young people from diverse backgrounds and facing different challenges, who may usually struggle to get meaningful employment, to actually have a better chance.

Roshan Sathy

22
Bromley

Name
Roshan Sathy

Age and location
22, Bromley

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I was prompted by the lack of diversity on my undergraduate course. Moreover, I am passionate about disability rights, particularly for visually impaired people. I hope to use the FVG platform to provide insights from someone who has a disability.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I am a MA PPE student at UCL. Prior to this, I studied for a BA Politics degree at the University of Nottingham. I volunteer for the British Tamil Forum, which is an organisation which aids victims of war crimes in Sri Lanka. I am also an aspiring corporate lawyer and I hope to pursue a legal career in the future.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
The most important thing to me is equality. I am motivated to make changes when I see blatant injustice. I hope to be a powerful voice and someone who actively rejects injustice

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
I want to empower people of colour who have disabilities. I want young people who have disabilities to feel that they are able to achieve, regardless of their socio-economic standing and disability.

17
Birmingham

Subhan Shan

17
Birmingham

Name
Subhan Shan

Age and location
17, Birmingham

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I was informed of the role through my participation in the Aspiring Youth Council. I feel passionate about equality and justice in all areas, not just employment. Being in post-16 education, I see the barriers we face. I believe that the FVG will enable us like-minded young ambassadors to identify why these barriers exist and how we can effectively tackle them.

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I am currently studying for my A-levels. I hope to complete them in 2022 and go on to study PPE at university. I am also a West-Midlands Youth Police and Crime Commissioner representing Birmingham East; I advise the Police and Crime Commissioner on the issues young people face. I am a Young Food Ambassador, part of a nationwide network of young food ambassadors who champions Children’s Right2Food. As a member of the Aspiring Youth Council in Birmingham, I raise issues directly with decision makers and endeavour to reach solutions.

What is most important to you in your life right now?
At 17, I value greatly the roles and opportunities I have had. I hope to integrate my religious values of justice and empathy into these roles with a view to bettering others’ opportunities. The fact that the features we are born with, and the communities we are born into, often determine our lives, saddens me greatly. Organisations like Youth Futures give me hope that that these limitations can be dissolved for people like me.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
With the support of the FVG, I would like to work with other ambassadors to identify the factors limiting employment. I wish to raise issue with decision makers and change the process of how people get jobs. The sysem needs to be fairer and accommodate all types of people.

Yemi Adeola

22
Ealing

Name
Yemi Adeola

Age and location
22, Ealing

What led you to be here today and prompted you to want to join the FVG?
I am passionate about the work we do in the social-mobility and youth unemployment space. I joined Youth Futures Foundation’s Grant Committee last year; I felt empowered to have a voice and help make critical decisions about the money invested in supporting young NEETs. As its youngest member, I enquired into what Youth Futures was doing to ensure young people were represented at all levels of the organisation. Anna Smee connected me with Anna Darnell and Deuvaunn who were working on the same idea internally. The rest is history!

What are you up to now? (eg. In work/study/looking for work/volunteering)
I’m currently a law student at BPP University. In my spare time, I volunteer at a social-mobility charity, help run a non-profit and recently joined the Board of the RSA as its youngest ever trustee!

What is most important to you in your life right now?
I think it’s vital to harness the adaptability, ingenuity and energy of youth to build a more equitable world, ensuring young people’s unique experiences and insights are amplified where decision-making power is held.

What sort of changes do you want to be involved in making as part of the FVG?
Providing a platform as ambassadors to collectively lead, innovate and actively campaign to tackle pervasive socio-economic inequalities locally across the UK. We exist to help shape policy and action on getting young people into sustained meaningful work, as agents of change within Youth Futures and in wider society! I’m keen to work on partnerships to drive systemic change, hopefully through the Youth Employment Group which Youth Futures is at the forefront of.

No team members match