What is the Youth Voice Board?

The Alopecia UK Youth Voice Board is a small group of committed young people representing the voices, opinions and thoughts of other young people within the alopecia community.

They are people who wish to raise awareness of alopecia and are happy being very public in their journey. The Youth Voice Board work closely with Alopecia UK to make sure the work we do is relevant for young people today.

They also help create resources such as our public social media (check out their Instagram page here), our Youth Network digital newsletter and help host some of our Youth Network meetings.

Who can sign up?

Any young person aged between 13-21 living with any type of alopecia in the UK. If you are age 17 and under you will require parental permission to join.

Alopecia UK appreciates and values diversity and inclusivity. We want to make sure that the Youth Voice Board is inclusive and recognises the needs of young people with alopecia across different communities. We actively encourage young people from underrepresented groups to apply for this role including LGBTQ+, ethnic minority groups, carers, those living in low-income households, and those managing health conditions and/or disabilities. We are especially keen to hear from young men with alopecia. Sadly our YVB currently has very little male representation and we acknowledge and appreciate this can significantly affect what we can achieve for young men with alopecia. If you are a young man with alopecia and this opportunity sounds interesting to you we strongly urge you to apply! Places will be assigned to ensure all the lived experiences of young people with alopecia across the UK are represented.

What would I be doing as part of the Youth Voice Board?

  • We ask that our members commit to 4 meetings per year*, these will be in October, January, April and July. The exact dates will be shared directly. During these meetings, we will be taking part in a mixture of activities aimed at upskilling you and/or improving the charity's work. This could include public speaking workshops, activities aimed at creating social media content, idea-sharing sessions, creating new resources and more. 

    We hope to hold one of these meetings face-to-face. This will typically be as part of our Alton Towers event in April, although exact details of this will be shared closer to the time. (See pictures below from the Youth Voice Board presentation there in 2023!)

  • You will also act as a representative and a voice between young people in the alopecia community and the charity.
  • We ask that each member shares their story on the blogs section of our website.
  • Together we will create relevant and engaging social media
  • We aim to develop content for Youth Network digital newsletter
  • Members can take part in hosting online meetings (e.g social/support, webinars etc)

*We appreciate there will be times due to illness or pre-existing plans where this may not always be possible but we will try and provide the dates as far in advance as possible to try and ensure the majority of our members can be at every meeting.

By being part of the Youth Voice Board you can gain the following:

  • New connections and friendships with other young people with alopecia
  • A letter of recommendation from Alopecia UK for future progression into higher education and employment
  • Valuable volunteering experience which will complement educational schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh.
  • The chance to have your thoughts, opinions and ideas heard.
  • Exclusive opportunities for upskilling and expanding your expertise (all of which can look great on your higher education applications and CV!)

Is it the same as the Youth Network?

The Youth Network is a new project. The Youth Network is still a community of young people with alopecia and by being a Youth Voice Board member you are also part of the Youth Network, however, Youth Voice Board members take on more of a leadership role and have additional responsibilities than those in the Youth Network.

The Youth Network is great if you would like to meet others of a similar age with alopecia, gain tips and advice, gain confidence and generally just have a supportive community to be a part of but don’t wish or aren't currently able to commit more time, be a voice for others or be public about your alopecia (all of which are needed if you are a Youth Voice Board member).

How do I sign up?

If you feel you are ready to commit the time and energy to be part of the Youth Voice Board here is what happens next:

  1. Complete the application form below:
    This can be done at any point in the year. When you complete the form someone from Alopecia UK will get in touch to let you know it has been received and invite you to take the next steps.

  2. As part of the next step, we will ask you to provide a ‘supporting statement’, this helps us learn more about why you’d like to be involved in the Youth Voice Board. The statement can be in whatever form you prefer (e.g. written, voice recording, video etc.). Further details about what to include and how to get it to us will be sent directly once you have applied.

  3. You will also be invited to the next Youth Voice Board meeting as a bit of a ‘taster session’. These meetings are 4 times a year so depending on when you apply might depend on when this happens.

  4. Following this meeting and upon receipt of your supporting statement you will be invited to decide if you would like to continue. If at this stage you decide not to continue, that is absolutely fine!

If before applying or during your application process you feel it would be beneficial to have a casual chat with some of our team we are happy to offer this. Typically this would be Jen Davies and a few of our current Youth Voice Board members. Please contact [email protected] to chat about this further.