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Swim England Youth Advisory Panel helps members with their education

Swim England News

Members of the Swim England Youth Advisory Panel have revealed how volunteering plays a key role towards their education.

The panel consists of 16 individuals who aim to give a voice to young people within swimming and aquatics.

They have recently been recognised for all their hard work by being nominated for the Volunteering Award at the 2020 Community Sport and Recreation Awards.

As Student Volunteering Week 2020 comes to an end, many of the panel are still studying or have recently finished college or university – and their work with Swim England has provided the opportunity to apply their skills.

Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Panel, Ben Gregory, said: “I’m currently studying Systems Engineering at Loughborough University.

“I wanted to get involved with the panel because it is a way for me to give something back to a sport that has given me so many opportunities and ensure that the sport reflects the needs of the young people taking part in it.

“Being on the panel has made me a more confident person. Before I joined, I never would have imagined that I would be able to lead meetings or talk in front of a room full of people.

“It has made me a more organised person and I now find it easier to work to deadlines, both in my studies and in everyday life.

“I would definitely recommend volunteering of any kind to students as a way to take a break from your studies and do something different. A small amount of your time can have a large impact on the people you work with.”

Charlotte Durham, who is currently studying communications and media at the University of Leeds, has volunteered at numerous Swim England events throughout 2019 to gain work experience.

She said: “The work I’ve done with the Youth Panel has massively shaped my studies.

“It’s given me countless opportunities to apply what I’ve studied to the swimming sector through volunteering at some of the national events Swim England host.

“Also, seeing projects go from initial ideas to completion, the organisation required and teamwork skills have helped me to make the most of my time at university!

“I love volunteering as a part of the Youth Panel as it is such a great way to give back to a sport that has helped me to grow so much.

“You also meet some wonderful people and hear some incredible stories. If anyone is considering volunteering during their time as a student (or not) I couldn’t recommend it enough – it’s great!”

For more information on the Youth Advisory Panel and how to get involved, please email [email protected].

Hear from other members of the panel

Eleanor Short

I’m studying my A-levels at sixth form at The Hertfordshire and Essex High School with the hope of going to university next year and studying project management.

The work I’ve helped the panel complete has helped with my studies at school as I’ve developed my teamwork skills and also my sense of independence.

I wanted to join the panel as swimming is something that I’ve been a part of since a young age and, after an injury, I wanted to continue contributing and help to grow swimming.

I love volunteering on the panel as I’ve met amazing friends and had the chance to be a part of crazy things that I wouldn’t have done otherwise, as well as building my confidence.

Craig McNeil

I attended the University of Salford in 2015-2018. Working with the Youth Panel helps with being able to be organised.

For example, this helped me with event planning as I’m able to organise and plan an event for an assignment which was also done through a group task.

Additionally, it has taught me to be able to work together as a team and plan ahead as well as being able to work efficiently.

I wanted to get involved with the youth panel as I grew up in the sport of swimming and para-swimming and wanted to give something back to the sport. I also wanted to make a difference in the aquatics world for the next generation of volunteers.

I enjoy meeting new people and hearing other people’s ideas. I have also made lots of new friends from the panel

Ellie Conway

Currently, I’m doing an engineering degree apprenticeship at Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG). The work with the Youth Advisory Panel has given me a greater understanding of the impact of volunteers and also allowed me to see more of how a company functions, and the processes projects go through.

Seeing our Youth Advisory Panel projects all the way through has been great for implementing our ideas, but also puts into context the effect each project can have.

Volunteering and working with the panel has given me more confidence to actively contribute to discussions and work effectively in a team, while also having a positive effect within the sport.

I love being able to give back to a sport that I have massively enjoyed participating in, and hopefully encouraging more young people to stay involved in the sport or get involved!