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Our Chief Executive Simon Antrobus on the Power of Youth

If you work with young people and you are committed to helping them succeed in the world then there really is no excuse for not tapping into their brilliant ideas and innovations.

That’s why I’m really proud to be signing the Power of Youth Charter today. It shows BBC Children in Need’s long term commitment to engaging children and young people in everything we do. It’s very much a personal commitment for me. When I first started out working with young people – far too many years ago to mention, I was interviewed by a panel of young people – the very people I would be supporting if I was successful at interview. They alone were given the task of deciding who their new coordinator would be.

It was a different interview, not one I had experienced before and I remember it to this day. Not only because I was lucky enough to be given the job, but more importantly, because I owe so much to the decision those young people took when they decided to appoint me. This personal example does not suggest it is easy, bold decisions to share power come with risk but they also come with a great deal of opportunity. If we want young people to be the best they can be, sharing responsibility alongside them has to be part of the deal.

So as we make our commitment here at BBC Children in Need, we all recognise this is very much the beginning of a journey. We have made a start and we’re committed to doing more.

Our Appeal this year has done so much to celebrate the brilliance of children and young people and the wonderful contribution they make to communities up and down the UK. We’re so lucky to see such kindness and generosity from the great British public especially during a very tough year for everyone and now we are working hard to make sure funds so generously donated make a real difference for young people – and that young people help us shape how it is spent and help inform us about what is needed.

For us that means actively playing our part to live out the words of our Power of Youth Charter commitment. Already we are involving young people more in our decision making, we’ve appointed two Youth Advisors to help co-produce funding programmes and gain insights from young people to inform our work, a partnership with the #iwill fund to co-invest in youth social action opportunities for young people. We are committed to being a champion for young people, to standing alongside them as their advocate and investing in organisations that help them drive positive change in their communities.

We are also proud to be on the #iwill Partnership Board moving forward and will continue to play a leadership role in this important movement – standing shoulder to shoulder with young people, ensuring they have a seat at the table.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Power of Youth Charter, visit

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