“Hello and welcome to ‘Young Voices Heard’, a movement promoting greater youth engagement and participation in public life and democracy. We offer support to young people to be more effective changemakers, leaders, advisors, trustees, designers, entrepreneurs, writers, volunteers, campaigners and elected representatives  We have been operating since 2017, not only ‘campaigning’ for more young voices to be heard, but also providing youth participation support service on a not-for-profit basis. In 2020 we will be re-launching as a new Social Enterprise to enable us to operate more sustainably. Our trading arm Young Voices Heard Ltd will undertake both not-for-profit projects as well as trading to generate a surpluses that can be reinvested in training young leaders, measuring quality youth participation and recognising of success. Go to Menu of Services and Portfolio for more details

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James Cathcart, Director of Young Voices Heard, Consultant, Coach and Mentor (Queens Young Leaders and The Prince’s Trust) was the longest serving CEO of the British Youth Council / UK Youth Parliament, and Head of Target Groups/Mentoring at the Prince’s Trust, James brings over 35 senior level and practitioner experience to our offer of one-to-one coaching and mentoring support to Chief Executives, Chairs, Trustees, SMT and Young Leaders, including  Fundraising, Strategy development, Benchmarking and Delivery to national standards. Paid commissions to Young Voices Heard Ltd enable James to set aside time for pro-bono mentoring and youth advocacy for projects, campaigns and young voices that would otherwise be unheard. For larger projects we have approved delivery partner organisations and individuals who are brought in to enhance our capacity. We often work with an organisations staff and volunteers, empowering them to continue to the work, with aftercare support, after our initial input.

I’m a former carer and youth worker, now specialising in youth participation and engagement.  When I took a one-year career break/sabbatical from being the Chief Executive of the British Youth Council/UK Youth Parliament in 2017, I realised there was so much more that could be done to bring together young people wanting to have say with those wanting to listen to them, Inspired by, and still advised by a group of young leaders and alumni of the charities and partners that I’ve worked with, I decided to do something to bring about our shared vision to promote greater youth participation in society and public life – in the boardroom, in communities and in the media – as well as starting a campaign for reforms that would embed youth voice in our national institutions. Initially working as self-employed consultant to subsidise pro bono work, I have since broadened the Youth Voices Heard portfolio to include not-for-profit projects, as a Social Enterprise”  James.

Young Voices Heard: Social Enterprise Mission Statement  

Our Social Mission is to support meaningful youth engagement and participation in public life and decision-making, through coaching, mentoring, skills training, support services, networking and recognition

    • We will set up not-for-profit projects, where 100% of the income will be restricted to spent on direct work
    • Where we provide trading services we will re-invest the majority of our profits back into Young Voices Heard advocacy work.
    • Be autonomous of public/state control
    • Be majority controlled in the interests of our social mission
    • Be accountable and transparent

James Cathcart, Director 01/01/2020