Young People's Panel

What is the Young People's Panel?

Want to shape what we do at Versus Arthritis? Join our Young People’s Panel.

This is a space where young people (aged 16-25) who are living with arthritis can influence our support, campaigning, and research work.

The panel also:

  • make people aware that children and young people live with arthritis too
  • speak out about the realities of being young and living with arthritis
  • advocate for changes that will improve the lives of people living with arthritis.

 

Why get involved?

By joining our Young People’s Panel, you’ll get to chat about the big questions at Versus Arthritis.

You’ll learn new skills and take on new challenges. It’s a great way to build your confidence and add to your CV.

You don’t have to be super experienced to join the panel and we’ll give you a helping hand, whenever you need it!

Along the way, you’ll get the chance to meet other young people living with arthritis.

Plus, you’ll raise awareness of the issues that matter most to you and make a difference to people living with arthritis, now and in the future.

What has the panel worked on recently?

We set up the panel in 2019 to help us reach children and young people all over the UK who are living with arthritis

Since then, our panel members have been busy! Here’s a quick glimpse of what they're up to:

Now they're:

  • Sharing their experiences through blogs and news interviews to inspire and support other young people living with arthritis
  • Helping us develop new support tools and resources such as our Tracker App, and advising on toolkits and podcasts
  • Supporting key awareness raising days like World Arthritis Day and World Young Rheumatic Diseases day
  • Shaping our campaigns on topics such as employment and mental health support
  • Advising on our charity’s work – for example, they’ve helped us shape our mission and volunteering opportunities for young people.

Max's story

How do I join the panel?

Interested in joining the panel? Good news: we’re recruiting new members!

To join, you need to be:

  • aged 16-24 at the time of applying
  • live in the UK
  • a young person with lived experience of arthritis or a rheumatology condition.
  • able to commit to at least one year – taking part in most of the one-hour monthly meetings online; up to three face-to-face meetings a year in the UK including travel and overnight stays; occasional activities between meetings; induction and essential training

We want to make sure that the panel have a diverse range of experiences, especially from seldom heard communities including young people: who identify as LGBTQ+; from Black, Asian and ethnically diverse backgrounds; with caring responsibilities; with experience of the care system; who are neurodivergent or living with other conditions and disabilities; who face social-economic inequality.

We are also keen to welcome more male participants.

If you want to find out more about the panel, email ypfsuk@versusarthritis.org.

You can also find other volunteering opportunities here

Apply to join our panel

You will need to answer few simple questions, such as:

  • Tell us a little about yourself
  • Why do you want to join the panel?
  • What would you like to gain from being involved in the panel?

If you have any questions, would like some help in completing the form or would like to apply in a different way please contact Catherine Wright.

Please apply before Monday 20th February 2023. We will be shortlisting and having informal interviews in February and March 2023.

All new panel members will need to complete a one-to-one induction with a staff member at a time that suits you. 

We receive a high number of applications and sadly we can’t welcome everyone onto the panel. But we'll make sure we’ll reply back to everyone by the end of March 2023 and offer information about different ways you can get involved.

Apply to join our panel now

What do you look for in an application?

  • Enthusiastic for creating positive change
  • Team player who can listen and respect the views of others
  • Keen to contribute, ask questions, and suggest alternative ideas
  • Passionate about reaching out to diverse voices
  • Good communication skills – willing to get involved in discussions
  • Some previous experience of representing others and/or influencing (e.g. school council, youth forum, debating) would be beneficial, but is not essential

What support will I get?

You will have a named staff member who can provide one-to-one support. They'll help you from the application stage to finding wider opportunities at the end of your panel journey.

Plus, current and past panel members will also act as peer mentors.

We want to make sure our panel opportunity is fully inclusive, so additional support, equipment and resources are available for anyone who needs it.

Panel members will also have their travel, accommodation and food expenses covered by Versus Arthritis.