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Youth Congress investment panel

The Youth Congress London community programme’s January follow-up session was focused around the young people having the opportunity to ‘pitch’ for funding to an investment panel. The scope was quite wide, young people could seek funding to run a community-based project or the request could be for investment into themselves as a project.

The investment panel included: Neil Wragg (our own CEO), Ed Hollevoet (Regional Managing Director, Nando’s), Dr Day (GP), Peter Thackery (Board member, Prevista Ltd) and Adrian Simms, a young graduate from our Hackney Choices programme (2015/16),

Five young people chose to present to the panel, each with a different idea. Projects ranged from tackling bullying in local schools, empowering local young women in business and setting-up a social hub for event organisers, performers and artists to collaborate and showcase their work.

"When I went to the Saturday session, I was at first hesitant and reserved but when  I was called up to deliver my pitch those feelings of reservation slowly went away - I found it uncomfortable but refreshing." Ismaaeel – young person who pitched to the panel.

Grit’s Youth Enrolment Manager, Anthony, was also there on the day: “It was insightful to see young people I enrolled into the programme 9 months ago, have the courage to stand for something they were passionate about and the strength to have their ideas assessed and critiqued. It showed just how far the young people have come as I remember some who found it difficult to speak to a small group, let alone an investment panel!”

Two young people were awarded funding to kick-start their projects and two were asked to work on and refine their projects further, then to pitch again to the panel. One young person wasn’t granted funding but was offered the chance to be trained by Grit and work alongside Anthony and trainers, investing in his personal development.

“Sitting and watching passionate young people who really care about things in their community is so inspiring. If we can nurture and support them – the future is bright.” Ed Hollevoet – panel member.