Humber Youth Action Group helps young people develop rewarding careers in health and social care

Humber Teaching Foundation NHS Trust set up the Humber Youth Action Group (HYAG) to bring young people aged 11-25 in Hull and the East Riding together, with the goal of helping to improve its services for children and young people.

Ailsa Moan

As well as helping the Trust as a forum for young people to help inform decision making, it has also given those young people a boost to their career prospects and higher education aspirations.

One such beneficiary of being a part of the group is Ailsa Moan who joined the HYAG in order to further her experience before going to university to study Mental Health Nursing. Ailsa noted how she previously struggled to find suitable work placements which would aid her college course and found the group opened up her exposure to local and more widespread mental issues facing young people.

The HYAG acted as the perfect real-life experience she needed when applying for her university degree and something that she could draw upon in interviews and ultimately her future career thereafter. Having been accepted with an unconditional offer to attend Kings College London, she credits her participation in the HYAG as fundamental to her success. Ailsa said “I decided to join the HYAG in order to expand my knowledge and understanding of the wider work within the health sector and NHS”. Attending the group meetings can easily fit around young people’s daily lives too as they meet virtually every 3 weeks between 6pm and 8pm.

The HYAG has recently helped launch the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust Youth Recovery & Wellbeing College which offers young people aged 11 to 18 a safe and accessible platform for them to recover from personal mental health struggles and access useful information and courses designed to aid in their ongoing recovery. When speaking of this new platform for young people, Ailsa told us, “During my application process for University I had to attend several interviews and I found myself naturally bringing up the HYAG as a way to understand and answer the questions. In particular, I often spoke of the Youth Recovery College, which I am proud to say that we as a group helped co-create”.

Whilst the Youth Recovery & Wellbeing College was developed for young people in the Hull and East Riding area to access support, much of the engaging content is accessible online, and therefore is not limited to those people living within the area and can be utilised by anyone aged 11 to 18 across the UK.

Offering young people a voice in creating positive experiences for their peers gives a great sense of accomplishment and promotes co-production, which the Humber Teaching Foundation NHS Trust highly regards as an effective way to create change. The Humber Youth Action Group represents an excellent opportunity for local young people to have an influence and build worthwhile experiences which will help them in their future lives.