Regions - #1 Northern Region - 2645 Members Regions - #2 South Island Region - 2473 Members Regions - #3 Central Region - 2314 Members Districts - #1 Waikato District - 658 Members Districts - #2 Christchurch District - 635 Members Districts - #3 North Auckland District - 600 Members 6269 Total Youth Members 1163 Total Youth Leaders

St John Youth speak up

Nov 30 2016

Sarah Manley

St John has great pride in offering the St John Youth programme – New Zealand’s best youth development organisation.

Over the past few months, we went out and asked our young people want they want from our programme and gave them the opportunity to shape our future. Our District Cadets of the Year led this important piece of work ensuring we are a programme for young people by young people.

We are very excited to share with you what you told us – and more excited early next year to share the work plan and strategy to bring it to life.

– Sarah Manley, Director of Community Health Services

Ella McClure

The roadshows have paved the way for an unprecedented youth programme filled with well thought out initiatives, inspired by the thoughts and opinions of young people.

As a young person, I am excited to know that the youth voice has been heard in helping ensure our programme continues to thrive in such a rapidly changing environment. Yet the part I am most excited about is taking steps to achieve these outcomes. This is because together, we are showing young people that their voice is not only heard, but acted on.

– Ella McClure, National Cadet of the Year  

Here’s what our Youth think and want:

On connections

  • CadetWe want to know that St John Youth Programme has a genuine connection to our direct communities. We want activities that are relevant to our learning styles, whether traditional, hands-on, experiential, adventure-based or technology-based.

  • We like helping St John and being part of “One of St John”.

  • We are St John’s ambassadors, sharing St John’s message, in our community; even Penguins are always ready to say that they are saving lives and helping others.

  • Our community needs to know who we are and see that we add value. Do influential people (celebrities, leaders, prime ministers – even the Queen) know about St John Youth?

  • We want to have stronger regional connections.

On leadership and training

  • Cadets

    We want to be leaders in the community and be heard.

  • We want to be leaders within the Youth programme for us to build relationships and develop a sense of belonging. Forming a strong Order will help.

  • We want to have more opportunities to lead at all levels, from the under 15s to the over 18s, and see defined pathways and have specific leadership trainings.

  • We want to have opportunities to develop specific skills and be acknowledged for each achievement.

  • The Grand Prior award needs to remain. Create steps to make sure all cadets know how to and can achieve it with our unique circumstances and abilities.

On volunteering

  • We want to have more volunteering opportunities in our communities such as fundraising, providing first aid training and helping at an operational level (although we do acknowledge there must be some limitation on this).

On schools and careers

  • LeadersMoving through the different ages and stages of St John Youth needs to be clear. It can be confusing with ages and stages not matching other institutional progressions, such as school.

  • Youth who are 18 years and older also wish to be involved but do not know how and where.

  • The programme needs to have a stronger presence in and relationship with schools to increase youth participation and diversity.

  • We are committed to the health and wellbeing focus of the St John Youth Programme. Many of us see a strong career alignment between our desire to learn first aid and desire to be either in operations or in health careers.

  • Our badges need to be relevant and achievable. Could we link badges to NCEA?

What’s next?

Thank you, St John Youth. Your amazing feedback will guide our Youth Leadership Team when they get together in early January to develop the work plan and new St John Youth strategy. The strategy will be released at the St John National Youth Festival 2017 being held in Whanganui, the birth place of St John Youth in New Zealand.