Into Film Youth Advisory Council
How long have you had a Youth Advisory Council at Into Film?
Into Film’s Youth Advisory Council was set up in 2013 shortly after the organisation was formed, to ensure that youth voice is at the heart of our work. We started with a small group who met at our London office and over the years have expanded to include groups in the North of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Why is it important for organisations like yours to involve young people in decision making processes?
It’s important that any organisation that has been set up to support and inspire young people ensures that the young people themselves have been consulted. The priorities for youth today are always evolving, so it is essential that organisations are listening to this. Young people are generally incredibly imaginative and creative too, so often their ideas are bigger and better than those of the Into Film team!
What difference has this made for Into Film?
The Youth Advisory Council has made a huge difference in the way the organisation approaches the Into Film offer and allowed us the chance to look at the programme through a young person’s eyes. The groups acts as a way to bring together our members from across the UK, to give them an insight into new developments for the organisation, and for us to hear and act on their feedback on everything from our film catalogue, to teaching resources and competitions, through to the Into Film Festival.
Describe what can young people gain from the YAC?
The council has been proven to be hugely beneficial for young people’s personal, social and academic development and confidence working in groups. YAC member Sophie describes it as “a great way to meet new people and learn new skills such as leadership and responsibility”. Young people taking part experience positive benefits such as greater confidence with public speaking and information sharing skills, teamwork and independence.
What advice would you give to other organisations who are thinking of setting up youth councils or boards?
Be clear about your reasons for starting a Youth Council and make sure that the whole organisation is on board with your plans, so that the young people’s ideas make real change. Check out the Arts Council Quality Principles to ensure that you have young people’s voices at the heart of your plans. And have snacks! Everyone loves snacks.
Into Film puts film at the heart of children and young people’s educational, cultural and personal development. More than half of UK schools engage with our programme of Into Film Clubs, special cinema screenings, and resources and training to support classroom teaching. Alongside rich online content for young audiences, this provides 5-19-year-olds with inspiring opportunities to learn about and make film, and develop a passion for cinema. Into Film is a not-for-profit organisation supported principally by the BFI (through the National Lottery), Cinema First and Northern Ireland Screen. To find out more about the work they do, visit www.intofilm.org