A life-changing experience as a Young Grant-Maker

What is it like to be a Young-Grant Maker? Sadia Shahid explains her experience as one.

Hearing about the position of being a Young Grant Maker, I felt this was a flawless opportunity to bring about a change to a young person’s lifestyle in the area that I live in: Islington. What I found particularly interesting about this programme was that young people were making funding decisions. I think it is profoundly significant that young people have a say in what is being introduced to their borough not only because it give them a sense of responsibility, it also gives the impression that they are important who too serve as a representative of their borough. Young people holding responsibility for distributing a budget of £80,000 to youth activities in their local area gives the impression that they know where the money is going and can consequently be the main advocates for encouraging their friends and family to attend such groups.

It is profoundly significant that young people have a say in what is being introduced to their borough

Being a member of Islington Giving’s ‘Young Grant Makers’ was both enjoyable and challenging. There were many steps to reaching the end of successfully distributing money to organisations that us young people thought were worth funding. Researching our community, advertising the call for applications for funding and inviting those who were shortlisted to be interviewed were, in my opinion, the most enjoyable However, there were difficult steps along the way as well. For example, carrying out assessments, including visits to each shortlisted applicant and making the decisions on who should be awarded grants. Deciding how many youth activities could be put through and how much money should be given to each one was really thought-provoking as there were many good aspects about each one. As such, prioritizing the number of youth activities was very intense.

To sum up, participating in the Islington Giving’s ‘Young Grant Makers’ allowed me to refine my current skills. For instance, although my people skills and analytical thinking was of a great level, being part of this organisation enhanced these abilities. Attending a Young Grant Maker session once a week revealed, to me, the importance of listening to others’ opinions and experiences and of trying to put myself in their shoes to see things from their perspective. Essentially though, I learnt the importance of working together with my group to solve problems; for example, assessing applications and budgeting skills.

More interesting reads

If you’ve enjoyed this read, you can read Maria’s experience or read about the funding decisions that our Young Grant-Makers made.