Youth First logo

Annual Report 2018/19

Employee directors update


The 2018/19 AGM’s decided to increase the number of Employee directors from two to four, with the additional two posts elected and starting in September 2019. In the meantime Nicola and Aminata, who at the start of the year were due for re-election, were asked by the board, and kindly agreed, to continue in the role for another year.

As well as continuing to attend and contribute to board meetings, sitting on working committee groups such as the Risk and Audit committee, the directors continued to chair the employee forums.  The latter covered topics including employee input into setting organisational performance targets and the Futures work.

Due to natural staff changes in the organisation, numbers and representation in the forum were also refreshed in year and we welcomed new members; Ryan Bish and Olivia Henriette.


  • Employee support for the recruitment of our new Non-executive directors Sharon, Susan and Catriona. All of whom have proved an incredible asset to the board and organisation.
  • Work with the wider Board and EMT to agree a pay increment for both contracted Youth First Youth and Play Seniors
  • Participation in a Board away day with the NEDs, youth directors and EMT to review our governance practices. This has resulted in an action plan which ensures we increase the effectiveness of the employee director’s role. To date this is proving highly successful with revamped board agendas and useful pre meets directly with the Chair and CEO.
  • Work with the Employee forum to successfully plan and deliver our end of year social where all staff and some NEDs came together to enjoy a great celebration of our collective endeavour. Staff have fed back how much they enjoyed the night and if possible we will now look to add a summer social.
  • Introduction of pre-board meetings with the Chair and CEO to go through papers ahead of the main board meeting. This is enabling us to ask questions and suggest amendments.
  • Restructured board meetings to assure more accessible papers
  • The employee directors report has moved to earlier on in the board agenda to ensure we do not run out of time or are rushed through it.
  • A NED now sits in our forum meetings to support with the continuity at the board meetings and for other staff to be able to express their views directly to them
  • We have regular supervisions with the chair or a nominated NED


Challenges and plans for year ahead

Whilst we have enabled employee influence and input as noted above there remain a number of challenges for the year ahead:

  • Ensuring that changes to a charity form protect as best as possible staff voice opportunities
  • The staff forums whilst useful need to improve staff voice on organisational strategy including an expanded membership.
  • Despite the role of director being a voluntary one it remains difficult to manage this with normal workloads.

We aim to address these issues by:

  • Ensuring we partake in board and sub groups to support the change to a charity
  • Schedule employee forums in a manner that ensures board and employee forum agendas line up
  • Request from the Board items they would like discussed at forums
  • Refresh the membership of the forums yearly
  • Have directors carry out site visits with questionnaires and suggestion box opportunities to ensure all staff’s voice is heard.