19 Jun 2024  |  Alex Mahoney

Copy by young adult volunteer RL

As a charity, Esteem is made up of many core components and one of these is the affectionately named “Esteem team”. The team is comprised of a mix of young adult volunteers and a few Esteem staff. We usually meet once a week in the Old School House, and cover a multitude of different matters related to both management of the charity and projects we decide to run. 

The meetings are young adult-led and focused. They are a huge part of the charity’s life. Meetings exist not just as a place to discuss projects and “business” related topics, but also as a non-pressurised environment to provide feedback and have input in ways young adults think the charity can grow and cater to a wider selection of people. All ideas are welcome and the team is always open to new suggestions to improve the charity or simply the meetings themselves in general.

We also help to support and co-ordinate with the wider organisation for events such as public open days, activities and trips for young adults. On occasion we also work alongside other charities and organisations to run multi-organisation events. 

All members of the team are fully equal. We explore any and all suggestions to find the most productive way forward.

One recent example is the clothes swap we ran on the 27th of May at Esteem. This originated from the team’s desire to create a space where people could swap clothes without worrying about finances and help combat fast fashion. We ran the event as part of the Reclaim festival, run by Over the Moon. ( https://www.weareoverthemoon.org/

Everything from the event, logistics and food & drinks provided to the advertising, layout and venue were all organised by young adults on the Esteem team. The event was a huge success and the team have already decided we’d like to do another in the future. 

The structure of planning and arranging events like these is also fairly unique.

One of the things I think sets the Esteem team apart is the way in which all members of the team, both Esteem staff and young adults, (in and outside of meetings,) are fully equal. Although individuals will take on roles when we run a project, we explore any and all suggestions to find the best ideas and the most productive way forward. We individually select tasks best suited to our strengths and then work together to achieve goals. 

This is important as it allows for a welcoming environment where no one is judged or under pressure, and makes sure that every voice is heard and valued.

All in all, the Esteem team is an integral part of the charity. It contributes great value to the charity and local community, and bolsters the potential of Esteem as a whole.You can find out more about the Esteem team, and if you’re 14-26 sign up, on our webpage.