We are please to share our report on the Round table that was held on Thursday 29th October 2021.

The roundtable VOYAGE Youth organised on the 28th of October 2021 brought together over 30 environmental charities and businesses to present and discuss the key challenges and issues to diversifying the environment sector, with special regards to young black people. We split the roundtable into two breakout rooms: in one we presented and discussed key elements of our Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities course; in the other young people shared their perceptions and barriers to the green movement and careers.
State of the sector

Globally, the West has alienated black people from environmental organisations by putting blame on countries in the South, without looking at the colonial past. Power, privilege and colonisation still have a knock on effect today and countries with a colonial past suffer from a lack of resources and infrastructure and struggle to adapt to climate change.

  • The sector has a eurocentric view on the world.
  • Environmental organisations do not know the right recruitment circles for employing black people.
  • Unpaid internships and work experience are a barrier to getting into the sector.

Changing the Culture

  • Protesting as a form of environmental action and campaigning and getting arrested is not a suitable form of action, because of the distrustful relation with the police.
  • Communication and story-telling will empower young people to share their story and will be examples for other black people to join the movement. This should not only be used in relation to race and discrimination to avoid tokenism.
  • The Young Leaders for Sustainability Cities course will have a strong focus on empowering young people through active learning. The course should also include economics as this drives the destruction of the environment and is about power and who is in charge.
  • A lack of support for black people in predominantly white organisations makes young black people feel inadequate and not welcome. A barrier is having to adapt to the culture of the organisation, rather than feeling welcome in a shared space.
  • For young black people to be able to speak out, space and opportunities need to be created to do so.

Increasing Diverse Access

Good representation in the industry will inspire and draw young black people into the movement. Uplift black voices from the environment and climate movement that are already there, but are not represented in mainstream media. This is also one of the aims of the course.

  • Create employability schemes, paid work experience and scholarships specifically for young black people.
  • Training for organisations is needed to bring in and to retain people of colour.
  • Actively seek out young people of colour by collaborating with organisations such as VOYAGE Youth that have access to the community as well as expertise.
  • Tapping into black networks of young and aspiring black professionals, such as University African and Caribbean Societies and Black Geographers will help to recruit people into the sector.

If there is one thing we can conclude from this roundtable, it is that diversifying the green sector is a challenging process that requires continuous input from and dialogue between environmental charities, businesses and the black community. Diversifying the sector will provide both young black people and the green sector with opportunities to make a difference. At VOYAGE we aim to support this process in any way we can to effectively bring young people of colour into green jobs, spaces and action.

Thank you to all participants. We honour everyone’s interest, enthusiasm and input and we welcome your ongoing input and participation. To continue the dialogue, please complete and share our survey within and outside of your organisation.


VOYAGE is delighted to announce our upcoming Roundtable for environmental organisations, Diversifying the Environment Sector, where we will be discussing key challenges and solutions to increasing the access of green jobs to young BAME people in the UK. 


It’s a crucial time to be thinking collaboratively about racial diversity in the second least diverse sector in the UK (only 3.1% diverse) with black unemployment rates at an all-time high since the Brixton riots and yet green economy booming and a huge expected demand for skilled workers in the lead up to the UKs Net Zero emissions target in 2050. 


Our discussions will begin as a whole cohort on the overarching theme ‘Diversifying the Environment Sector’ which will cover access, retention and progression and will be Chaired by Rashid Nix, Green Party’s Equality and Diversity National Coordinator.


Rashid Nix, Green Party’s Equality and Diversity National Coordinator.


This will be followed by a short discussion on the future of green jobs and the government’s £12billion investment into this to reach net zero by 2050. We will subsequently follow up with a survey on job creation plans to reach these targets and benefit from the green economy with environmental organisations attending. 


You will then enter the following breakout rooms; 


  • Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities: Led by Wendy Maples, an established environmental course writer and Green Councilor for Lewes and Layla Bahrami the Special Projects Manager overseeing the development of the course. Here we will review aspects of our new and bespoke course with our course writers Wendy Maples and Margo Tulkens for input on the strength, relatability to young black people and its environmental scope.
  • Young People: Led by Lamin Tarawally, our Youth Advisory Board chair who will discuss how young people can help improve inclusion and diversity in green industries and young people will share their views!


Questions will be asked throughout for both discussion and through the use of Survey Monkey. We kindly ask that all participants put their name, organisation and occupation as their zoom name when joining the meeting. 

Beyond this roundtable we are looking to collaborate with organisations in order to support the delivery of our new Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities course, our graduates scheme (through work experience and placements) and our Youth Investigators Network.

Roundtable date and time: 5pm on Thursday 28th October on Zoom.

To register your interest in attending or further questions please email layla@voyageyouth.com. We strongly encourage environmental organisations to attend, especially CEOs, EDI officers or those heavily involved in increasing diversity within their environmental organisation.

Voyage is a charity that empowers and enables young black people through a range of educational and leadership courses, specialist and peer mentoring, developmental and skills building opportunities and work experience. It is both youth and BAME led and has a strong and growing track record of effective and recognised impact.

We are looking for new tutors to help us deliver our ambitious and new course called Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities and its follow up graduate programme starting in March/ April 2022. Our course is currently being validated by Pearsons and will be primarily delivered to year 9s and 10s from North East London schools. Young people are recruited directly from our partnership schools who introduce us to cohorts via assembly presentations. We are currently seeking to train up a new team of youth and community workers who will help us deliver our ambitious agenda combining important discourse on conservation, nature and climate justice alongside empowerment, leadership and how to stay safe. We will be committing all potential tutors to join us through a structured programme of training, engagement, micro teaching before youth workers are allocated pay scales and days of work. We have a unique programme of work that requires us to support YP over a three journey which requires our workers and tutors to be part of an ongoing programme of development and training so their skills can be synthesised alongside our curriculums, mentoring and our approach to safeguarding.

To achieve this we seek individuals from diverse communities with passion for supporting young black people and process a willingness to see them rise as leaders, connect them to their communities and help them to navigate the usual hazards growing up in London. We place incredible value on those who can use their unique lived experience to connect with our young people and effect change in them. We also recognise and value experience over qualifications and we aim to nurture our pool of tutors through an emerging and thriving Youth worker, Tutor and mentoring Network which will include access to training and developmental opportunities.

The training we aim to run will start in min January and we aim to include new tutors in our community engagement programme designed to test skills and help Voyage determine scale and salary payment.

We are preparing tutors to deliver our new course starting in March/ April 2022 will run for 12 weeks each year across 10 Saturdays and will involve both team and solo teaching. In terms of development and progression, tutors will take part in training and shadowing other tutors at the beginning of the course and will go on to either teach in teams or solo once they complete training in the later part of the course. Once tutors have completed their training and the first round of teaching, we will continue to develop and support them with training and engagement opportunities as the young people rise as our graduates.

Key info:

  • Application deadline: 13th December 2021 at 12noon
  • All our engagement with young people occurs over the weekends, evenings, or school holiday periods
  • All candidates that make the final cohort will be required to have an Enhanced DBS and those who are successful through our onboarding and training process will have their pay evaluated using the JNC scale (https://www.nya.org.uk/youth-work/jnc/).

Please send your CV, clearly state your hours and days of availability and provide 500 words max on ‘Why you should be a VOYAGE Youth tutor’ to admin@voyageyouth.com

Be sure to include:

  • Any relevant experience with young people (including any safeguarding training)
  • Any qualifications or experience relating to the environment
  • Your unique lived experience that will help you connect to and empower young people

Dear friend, colleague and young leader,

We’re excited to announce that Voyage’s Youth Advisory Board has developed a youth led enquiry project which will be reviewing and planning to hold to account 6 key industries (health, education, environment, police, heritage/ culture and corporates) who are embracing new plans to be more inclusive and diverse. We understand many of these agencies and businesses appear to be motivated by the impact of the pandemic and inspired by the death of George Floyd. Many have chosen to increase their commitments to inclusion and diversity in a new drive to reduce and remove the pernicous spectre racism in the work place. Because of this we feel this is a special moment in time were we detect a growing receptivity to the voices and lived experiences of young people of colour. Whilst this is timely and most welcomed we believe our young people have the answers to how this can be done to achieve the change they wish to see as they become employable.

Our new Youth Investigator Network (YIN) will work alongside our partners to investigate best and bad practice models and use this knowledge to promote good work and use this to encourage the much needed change in sectors seldom accessed by people of colour. We aim to announce key findings each year at Black History Month and use the event to encourage more partners to join us.

So if you wish to join make sure you sign up below as all young people involved will access

  • valuable work experience and a reference
  • training to boost key investigatory and presentation skills
  • presentation and public speaking opportunities
  • visits to places of interest
  • refreshments, meals and travel expenses

The project will involve 30 young people each year who will form our core Youth Investigator Network (YIN) and be tasked with investigating and presenting their initial lines of enquiry at a fundraising event we are developing for Black History Month in 2021.

All the young people will be trained to act in key leadership roles to ensure the event runs smoothly, reaches its target audience and engages case study partners. The event will be promoted as a youth led enquiry by young people and we aim to use the initial and informed research questions and begin active lines of follow up and enquiry as a next stage.

We aim to use their findings to target more partner companies and encourage them to engage young people as they;

  • hold them to account on what their policies say
  • problem solve recruitment, retention and progression strategies
  • widen access and ongoing participation

Furthermore, we believe our young peoples contribution will give shape to an annualised programme of youth voice work that will encourage more young people to join us and help them develop amazing profiles making them highly skilled and employable.

If you want to find out more contact the office at admin@voyageyouth.com.

If you are a young person interested in committing to this Youth Investigator Network, the project will require 12hours of commitment per month.



Read more

Voyage was proud to be part of MINDs national Enquiry research into the impact COVID19 has had on the mental health of young people in secondary schools across England.

Our young leaders were active participants in the surveys as well as being commissioned to encourage more black young people across London to participate. Voyage young leaders carried out training to learn about mental health before attending community and school facilities to drum up more contributions to the survey. In addition this Voyage young leaders facilitated round tables with over 70 young people of colour to ensure there was more qualitative information available to bring alive some of the quantitative contributions found through the survey.

Being involved in this research as opened up many possibilities for Voyage to explore new and innovative ways we can continue to involve our young people in more consultative and research initiative’s going forward.

The Mind survey findings  present very important messages about the effect racism has on mental health which was one of the more significant impactful findings explored in our round table work. 

We are proud of our young people who took part as they demonstrated commitment, passion and power laced with insightful contributions which we feel has lifted this report and made it more representative and reflective of what COVID 19 is actually doing to our young people..

Right now, we’re failing young people and this needs to change. No young person should be given up on. With the right support, all young people experiencing mental health problems can reach their full potential, succeed at school and create the life that they desire. 

This is how Voyage has been acknowledged for our involvement.. Big thanks to David Stephenson for giving us this opportunity...




Full report:




Click to access not-making-the-grade.pdf

Course Writer (Sustainability)

Hours: (Temporary Contract)

Voyage is a charity that empowers and enables young black people through a range of educational and leadership courses, specialist and peer mentoring, developmental and skills building opportunities and work experience. It is both youth and BAME led and has a strong and growing track record of effective and recognised impact.

Through consultation with our environmental partners and youth advisory board, we have planned the development of a new course, Young Leaders for Sustainable Cities, which aims to provide our young people with the skills and knowledge to lead and advocate for more environmentally conscious lives. It is a 12-week level 2 course for year 9s and 10s and will act as a prerequisite to our graduates’ scheme where participants will have access to a range of supportive services including mentoring and work experience in the environment sector. The course will educate young people on sustainability, climate change, pollution and conservation and will frame the complexity of environmental justice and the disproportionate impact of climate change and pollution on particular racial groups. The broader impact of this course will be the diversification of the environment sector which, after farming, is the least diverse sector in the UK, as well as to address the disproportionally high level of black unemployment rates.

The course will begin in September as a pilot project, so we are looking for an educational course writer to assist in the development of the course from June through to August. Someone with experience of writing a level 2 or above accredited course is desirable, but not necessary, and we are open to professionals with an environmental education. We will use one of the four following accreditors for the course; One Awards, Pearson’s, EduQual or Open College Network London.

The course development will be overseen by our Special Project Manager and will involve the input of all of our team and our youth advisory board.

Time Frame (to be confirmed) Deliverables
June 21th Application Deadline
June 21st – 25th Interviews to determine the timescale of project completion –
June §  Initial planning with Voyage team to outline the details of the brief and agree deliverables and outcomes for the project.
July §  The development and first draft of the course

§  Check in and update to obtain ongoing reviews and feedback from Voyage staff

August §  Edit and refine upon youth consultation and staff feedback

§  Present final draft to Voyage Youth team

§  Sign and agree to copyrights


We are proud of our young participants of our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) who chose to use their voices to bring about change on a number of issues that effect them and the wider community.
In this instance our YAB has chosen to write a letter to the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the Home, to outline our frustrations at the refusal to remove the statue of slave trader Robert Geffrye. Our YAB were alerted after noting public consultation carried out by the museum demonstrated 70% of its respondents wanted the statue removed.  The YAB believe no name change can avoid or cover up the actions of this slave trader and NO museum should be forced by its investors to go against the view of the local community. Our young believe the showcasing of the statue makes the museum complicit in the wrong and hugely contentious actions of Robert Geofrye and goes against the rich diversity of Hoxton.
There is a meeting date now set to take these concerns directly to the museums senior management and we look forward to learning more about how the reversal of the views of the community can be justified in these times.
Watch this space for more…

Operation Smiles sign up form

Minimum details required
  • Please let us know your first, last name and your age
  • One choice only please.
  • Tell us what role you wish play as part of Operation Smiles
Voyage is proud to announce its new project developed in association with Arena Flowers called Operation Smiles. .

Operation Smiles is an up cycling volunteering project designed to redistribute unsold flowers to individuals in need in Hackney, Haringey and Tower hamlets. The project has been developed to get young people out and active to help them get some valuable work experience to support their educational pathways as well as ease the boredom and frustration many have experienced as a result of the lockdown.

The project is lead by a volunteer team of our young leaders who will be trained in outreach, safeguarding, area mapping conservation, bouquet preparation and customer care and be on hand to deliver FREE bouquets of flowers to local people in need every Saturday for 6 weeks. The project is now in its planning stages and we aim to start delivering flowers direct to homes from Saturday 11th July and schedule deliveries between 10am-4pm.

Our aim is to bring smiles to the community and to aid the recovery of struggling individuals massively impacted by the pandemic. We aim to deliver to the elderly, parent carers and those suffering from the traumatic effects of violence, people with special needs and those trapped care homes and hostels.

We simply aim to give out free flowers to local people in exchange for a smile using a door to door delivery service.

This is the first of our programmes established with new found partners and we aim to build more project like this to demonstrate how we can work effectively combining valuable skills development with community service.

Email us for more information.

Voyage is launching a video competition to reflect the voices of our young people in a new promotional brochure.

Our promotional brochure will be launched in September setting out how our work impact young people in schools, communities and in their own homes. We are asking for young leaders who have come through our programmes (since 2010) to contribute to this promotional opportunity. We wish to capture the impacts we created with our young people in order to incorporate their voices into our digital brochure. We have commissioned Iconic Media to assist this project who have created a simple steps process to help our young people produce a two minute contribution.

Feel free to email Craig at VOYAGE@ICONICMEDIASOLUTIONS.CO.UK and/or Angela ANGELA@VOYAGEYOUTH.COM to ask any questions you may have about this opportunity. We are here to support you.

All useful entries will get a £15 voucher from an established online company. We hope you seize this opportunity and we look forward to forward to receiving your entries. Hola