Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature

Youth Voice has become increasingly important for one of Nottingham’s newest NPO’s (Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation) and we were delighted to be asked to programme and run a young voices symposium in February 2023 and a follow up away day for their Youth Advisory Board.

Young Voices Symposium

Taking on the task of programming an event for professionals and young people alike, we wanted to ensure that there was a good mixture of activity and topics that appealed to our audience, and that most importantly – promoted the meaningful engagement of young people’s voices.

The topics covered on the day included:

  • Including young people on boards 
  • Developing a story of change 
  • Hybrid engagement 
  • Involving young people in evaluation 
  • Encouraging youth voice through journalism 
  • International practice 
  • How cities can embed youth voice in the fabric of its culture. 

The day started with panels, we then moved to workshops, plenary’s, performances and networking. All hosted across two studios at Nonsuch Studios in Nottingham. Upstart’s job included the programming of every speaker, workshop leader & performer, organising the event logistics/venue/catering, overseeing the event safety and smooth running on the day. An exciting project delivered in collaboration with the engagement and marketing team at Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature, we engaged dozens of people from across the midlands and further afield.

Youth Advisory Board Away Day

Following the successful collaboration to produce the young voices symposium we then crafted an away day in June 2023 for the youth advisory board which followed the overall structure of our ‘Having a Voice in your organisation’ course, extending and adding the elements such as identifying the skills and behaviours needed in the board and understanding purpose to youth engagement in governance. We also explored the benefits and challenges for young people and the organisation to collaborating in such a way, discussing ways to overcome challenges and maximising the benefits for a productive working relationship.