Voice of Youth co-op looking for volunteers

Message from Tania de St Croix

Hello friends,
We need some new volunteers for our fantastic youth workers’ co-op in Hackney, London. We are writing to you because we think you might be interested yourself or know somebody who might be interested – if so, please see below, forward this email to anyone who might be interested, and put up the attached PDF or Word poster version if you have anywhere to put it. Ideally we would love to hear back before mid-August as we would like to organise a volunteer induction session before the autumn.
Thanks so much!


S.O.S. Voice of Youth!!!
Volunteers needed for youth work co-op in Hackney

Be part of something amazing!
No bosses, great mutually supportive team including local young people – experience genuine co-operative working!
We are looking for experienced youth workers who want to support our way of working…
… and for people who want to gain experience in open-access youth work!

Voice of Youth is a special organisation. We do things differently: we work cooperatively, our work is rooted in young people’s needs and wishes, and we avoid funding that involves meeting targets or defining young people as problems. We were set up in 2011 by local young people and youth workers. We are a committed group of volunteers, we have around 30 fantastic young people aged 8-18 taking part each week, and funding for a project using creative activities to get young people talking about social issues. But we need more volunteers to help us stay open!

Interested? You would need to be available all or most Wednesday evenings, 5:30-9:30 pm, term-time from Autumn 2017. Our work relies on trusting relationships with young people and within the staff team, so we ask you to commit to 6 to 12 months if at all possible. Have a look at our website to find out more about us: http://www.voice-of-youth.org

Still interested? Send us an email and we’ll have an informal chat and tell you more! Please contact tania1.voy@gmail.com or any VOY volunteers or youth workers you know, preferably by mid-August ‘17.

Who can be a VOY volunteer? Anyone aged 16+. We aim to reflect the community we work in, and we particularly welcome Black and Minority Ethnic applicants, local young people, and EVERYONE of ANY background who is keen to work with young people on their terms, valuing their views and perspectives. All volunteers need a DBS (criminal record) check – an unrelated criminal record is no problem, but please discuss this with us in advance. Travel expenses available, please ask for details.

‘I Can’t Breathe’- Voice of Youth young people take up the challenge because black lives matter

Latest news from the Voice of Youth Project in Hackney. The young people are asking other young people’s groups to take up the ‘I can’t breathe’ challenge

I can’t breathe

December 30, 2014

Manor youth group sings the ‘I can’t breathe’ challenge set by actor Samuel L Jackson, in solidarity with struggles against violent racist policing.

“The “Pulp Fiction” actor is the latest to use his celebrity to draw attention to the death of Eric Garner, whose last words were “I can’t breathe” after New York police officers wrestled him to the ground, with one of the officers wrapping his arm around Garner’s neck” (CNN)

Manor youth group challenges Lea View group and other young people’s groups to do the ‘I can’t breathe’ challenge!

“I can hear my neighbor cryin’ ‘I can’t breathe’/Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave/Calling out the violence of the racist police/We ain’t gonna stop ’til people are free/We ain’t gonna stop ’til people are free.”


Do schools respect human rights?


On Saturday, March 1 we contributed to a stimulating conference on ‘The State of Education’ organised by the Radical Education Forum and Libertarian Education. Malcolm Ball led a workshop on ‘Critically Chatting with Young People’, whilst Tania de St Croix was there with a group from the Voice of Youth project. These young people ran a session focused on their often suffocating experience of being at school. The following report from their blog includes a challenging ‘mockumentary’ – to be recommended highly.

Living Our Values, Working Our Values : Critical Reflections on being a Youth Work Cooperative



As something of a welcome antidote to the persistent propaganda about commissioning/competition in the world of youth work, here’s a chance to hear another side of the story.

Fionn Gregg of Voice of Youth gets in touch to say:

I am emailing you as I think you may be interested, or at least know others who are interested in this event and our workers co-operative. We are a youth workers co-op based in Hackney, East London. We run two youth clubs and do detached work, much like any other youth organisation… however, we are set up and run differently – as a co-operative! We believe in the following principles:
1. Young people choose whether and how to become involved with our groups and work.
2. Our work starts from the needs and wishes of young people in Hackney
 and all funding bids will reflect this.

3. We involve young people in taking action to improve their own lives
 and the lives of their communities;

4. We promote equality and challenge oppressive structures in society,
 institutions, groups and individuals, including in our own organisation.

5. We promote co-operative decision making in our own work, in our
 youth groups and in the communities where we work.
 …and that to work in this way with young people, it is important to work in a co-operative, equal manner as an organisational structure. Hence the co-operative!