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Waltham Forest + Abianda

Abianda’s Participation team worked with young women from Waltham Forest’s Young Advisors (YA) and Youth Independent Advisory Group (YIAG) on our recruitment resources. We are recruiting for Abianda’s Young Women’s Advisory Group (YWAG) as well as Participation team practitioners. The resources included a poster, a video, what information to include on the Abianda website and interview tasks and questions.

Abianda has worked with young women from Waltham Forest in the past, as part of Waltham Forest’s Young Women’s Advisory Board in 2020/21. We were keen to collaborate with Waltham Forest again and build upon our existing partnership.

Waltham Forest has an incredible YIAG & YA and we were impressed that the YIAG & YA’s are commissioned to provide their skills and knowledge for lots of different projects.

We attended one of their monthly meetings to present what we wanted to workshop and what we were looking for; the YIAG & YA members then let us know if they were interested. It was almost like a Dragon’s Den but without the ego and devastation! We think that this is a great model - we really believe that young people should be able to choose what they get involved in and should be paid properly for their time and expertise.

The workshop itself was insightful, a lot of fun and the young women offered such valuable feedback. We have to hold our hands up and say that the initial resources we presented in the workshop were quite formal and would probably not encourage young women to apply for Abianda’s YWAG.

The feedback provided in the workshop was considerate, constructive and real, which we really appreciated and it really helped to shape the poster, the video and what information is presented on the website and how. The workshop also gave us some real food for thought when thinking about our YWAG in general.

The young women also helped us by looking at the interview questions and tasks we will be giving for our upcoming Participation Practitioner and Pastoral, Education & Employment Practitioner roles. The young women felt that it is important to see how potential practitioners respond to different scenarios and we all agreed that having young women on the panel for the interviews was vital.

Even within a tight timeframe, we hope that the poster, video and the information on the website honours the feedback the young women who we worked with provided.

The workshop really demonstrated why it is vital to have youth voice included in everything, but especially if it is for anything to do with young people!

A big thanks again to the young women who took part in the workshop and helped shape the resources. We honestly could not have done this without them. We also want to shout out to Waltham Forest’s Youth Engagement Principal Officer Roni, as she has been so helpful and supportive of our setting up Abianda’s YWAG.

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