A CHARITY for volunteer projects is planning to empower young people to become agents of change.

The Denbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) has set up a youth committee to engage the county’s young people in shaping the future of their communities.

The Youth Panel, for people aged 14 to 25, will make up a committee to voice the concerns of young people within the DVSC, the charity for volunteering in Denbighshire that aims to build resilient communities through voluntary action and social enterprise.

The panel will be asked for their views on issues of importance within the DVSC and influence the charity’s decision-making.

Damon Jones, aged 21, is DVSC’s membership and business support administrator, who joined DVSC two years ago and now has the responsibility of coordinating the recruitment of the fellow ambitious young people and chair their meetings.

Mr Jones said he hopes to “have a diverse panel reflecting the issues facing young people across the county”.

“I first started at DVSC in Autumn 2016 after previously volunteering in a charity shop and have been given the chance to take on more and more responsibility in terms of our influencing and engagement work,” he said.

“I think the Youth Panel will be a great way for young people to learn new skills, make new friendships and connections and make their voice heard on behalf of young people in Denbighshire.

“We hope to be able to put together a panel of individuals with different backgrounds and from different areas within Denbighshire to ensure that we have a diverse panel reflecting the issues facing young people across the county”.

The first task set of panel members will be to review applications and make funding decisions on DVSC’s youth-led grants which has a new set of priorities, in line with the wellbeing goals, and is being run as a pilot between now and the end of March 2019.

The DVSC has recently organised a £10,000 grant funding scheme for charities and community groups for adults with autism.

Helen Wilkinson, DVSC’s chief executive, said the youth panel was in part motivated by the Welsh Government’s 2015 Future Generations and Wellbeing Act that called on public services to strive to improve the lives of future generations in Wales.

Ms Wilkinson said: “With the Future Generations and Wellbeing Act in mind, it is timely that we refresh our approach to influencing and engagement. This is not just about the way we engage young people in volunteering opportunities, it is about meeting the needs of the new generation and genuinely empowering them as decision makers, influencers, and change agents in their communities.

“We really are committed to putting young people in the lead and to practising what we preach from the inside out.”

Young people between 14-25 years of age are being invited to express their interest and if successful will receive free training and be appointed for a period of up to three years, after which there will be another expression of interest process.

The deadline for expression of interest is the November 9.

For more information on how to apply visit the Youth Panel page on the DVSC website.