The NHS Youth Forum and Advisory Network

Your opportunity as a young person to have a say about the health services available to you.

At Barnardo's, we know that there is no one better to ask about young people’s health services than young people themselves. You have the right to have a say on the decisions about the services you access. That’s why we are working with NHS England to deliver the NHS Youth Forum and Youth Advisory Network. Your experience can help shape the future of NHS England and make it a more inclusive and accessible space for all.

​What is the NHS Youth Forum?

The NHS Youth Forum is made up of 25 amazing young people from all over the country, just like you.

It offers a space to share feedback, thoughts and ideas on the changes you want to see within NHS England and the wider health services. As part of the NHS Youth Forum, you could work on different projects closely with NHS staff and decision makers, sharing your views at regular discussions and raising the health issues that matter most to you. 

The group also gives you the chance to work with others in a team, stand up for things that are important to you, speak publicly, and build confidence in yourself. 

This role is a twelve-month voluntary opportunity which is run online, although there are some in-person residential trips to get involved with too. We know young people have busy lives already, so don’t worry, you only have to commit to a minimum of four hours of work a month. 

Regardless of background and lived experience, we are welcoming any young person between 16-24 years old, who wants to make change.  

The NHS Youth Forum offers young people like you a voice about the health services you need.

What is the NHS Youth Advisory Network?

Alongside the Forum we also have the NHS Youth Advisory Network which is made up of 100 young people across England. 

This group gives young people the chance to have their voices heard and input on key health issues, with a smaller time commitment than the Youth Forum. This voluntary role is flexible and you only have to commit to one hour of work a month. 

Choosing this opportunity might be more suited if you have other commitments, or if you want to see if getting involved is for you. You can always apply for the Youth Forum next year if it is.   

We want to hear from any 11–24-year-olds who want to get involved in the conversations around health services.  

Nahida, a young girl wearing a hijab smiles to the camera
[The best part of getting involved] was the skill set that I learnt! For me it was a lot of self-belief and self-confidence. The NHS Youth Forum pushed me in so many ways that I didn’t know I was capable of.

Nahida

Former NHS Youth Forum member

A mixed group of young people sitting in a circle, looking at a piece of paper. One girl smiling to camera

If you’re a young person aged 11-24 in England looking to shape the conversations on health services, develop your ideas, and create lasting change, this is the place to do it. 

Some people like to dive straight in, and others like to dip their toes in the water first – and either is totally fine. Pick a group that feels most suited to you and your goals.

To apply for a position click one of the links below or scroll down to find out how we can help with your application.

The NHS Youth Forum

We are currently looking for the 2024/25 Forum members, with applications now open until the 4th of March 2024.​​​​

The NHS Youth Advisory Network

We are now looking for Advisory Network members, with applications open until we reach our limit of a 100 young people. 

I would definitely recommend applying to everyone. The skills you will learn are transferrable [and] you can use them to develop your career. It is a great starting point to take that step into the world of youth voice, change and advocacy.

Nahida, Former NHS Youth Forum member

Practitioner walks down a corridor talking to the young girl she's supporting

It’s always great to hear from organisations and professionals in the health sector who are keen to engage young people in their work. 

If you would like to arrange a consultation with the Youth Advisory Network, please contact us at [email protected] for more information. We’d love to hear from you.

Find out more about the health and social care services we provide for children, young people, and families, and how to work in partnership with us here.

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