YMCA WiSE Participation aims to involve young people’s voices in raising awareness and education around child sexual exploitation and its surrounding issues. Through participation, we improve the services we offer, raise community awareness of CSE, and develop the skills and confidence of young people. We offer participation in a couple of different ways; Young people can volunteer as a WiSE Youth Ambassador, or as an existing WiSE Client who can volunteer as WiSE Champions.
YMCA WiSE Ambassadors
Our YMCA WiSE Ambassadors are a group of young volunteers creating initiatives such as school workshops, social media campaigns, consultations for other organisations and resources.
We focus on topics such as healthy/unhealthy relationship, sex and consent, porn, sexting and online safety.
“I really enjoy learning from everyone I get to interact with, whether its fellow ambassadors, guest speakers or young people we are creating the work for. We wouldn’t have been able to create the work that we have without each and every one of us bringing something to the table and having a mutual passion for educating and empowering others on important topics.”
“Working with the YMCA has allowed me to put my passions into practise and to make an impact on young people on such important issues. I feel as though it has helped me grow as a person and has given me better sight of what I want to do going forward and the type of work I want to continue to do. It has also allowed me to use my experience, knowledge and compassion to make an impact and to give young people a toolbox I myself and many others may not have had growing up”
- Emma, YMCA WiSE Ambassador
"I’m currently finishing my master’s degree in gender studies so a lot of the issues we cover I have some theoretical background in. However, volunteering with YMCA WiSE has enabled me to consider how to make this information relevant and accessible to others in a practical way, particularly through the social media content we create.
Volunteering with the YMCA WiSE project is great. The group is incredibly welcoming, and everyone has different skills and backgrounds which means that we have interesting discussions on important topics that ordinarily aren’t spoken about. I’ve learnt a lot from the other volunteers and it’s wonderful to have a space where I feel confident in sharing new ideas."
- Jess, YMCA WiSE volunteer
YMCA WiSE Champions
YMCA WiSE Champions are our clients who provide guidance on our work and help to raise awareness of CSE. So far YMCA WiSE Champions have created art projects, completed online questionnaires and taken part in focus groups.
My WiSE Voice art project is a recent example of this work. This ongoing art project saw young people we work with create a piece of art, writing or poetry, as a way of expressing their experience around CSE. The aim of this was to challenge perception of what it is to experience exploitation from people whose voices have often felt silenced. Keep an eye out for future exhibitions.
YMCA WiSE Champions have also recently provided feedback on a school activity pack looking at online safety created by YMCA WiSE Ambassadors.
How can I get involved?
If you’re a young person between the ages of 16-25 you can find more information in the role description.
Or contact us directly on wisepar[email protected]
If you are a young person who has experienced CSE and would like to be a part of the My WiSE Voice project, please email us at [email protected]. If you are a current YMCA WiSE client, please speak with your Project Worker.