Online Youth Network
About the Ambitious Youth Network
Ambitious about Autism has a rapidly growing online Ambitious Youth Network to enable more autistic young people to have their voices heard. Through the network, autistic young people between the ages of 16 to 25 can share experiences, connect with others, have their say on Ambitious about Autism’s projects as well as access a range of opportunities to advocate and improve services for autistic young people.
You can join the Ambitious Youth Network here, where you can meet other autistic young people, sign up to peer support sessions, and keep up to date with any new and exciting opportunities at Ambitious about Autism.
The Ambitious Youth Network is run and managed by the Participation team.
Peer support sessions
Peer support sessions are held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5:45 - 6:45pm over Zoom. These sessions are a chance to meet other autistic young people across the country.
The sessions are a safe environment where you can stay within your comfort zone and there is no pressure to turn on your camera or microphone. You can choose to participate or observe.
The sessions are led by Ambitious about Autism staff trained in safeguarding, who you may contact at any point if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
Every session has a different theme. Previous sessions have included arts and crafts, comedy night, DJ night, language lessons, and general knowledge quizzes.
Apply for opportunities
Youth Network opportunities are mainly centered around educating the public about autism and making life better for autistic young people. The majority of these opportunities are paid.
Opportunities include advising on toolkits and campaigns, developing presentations about autism awareness, taking part in advisory panels, writing blogs, and leading training sessions.
Organisations we have worked alongside in the past include The Postal Museum, Compare the Market, Marsh McLennan, NHS England and lots more.
Our opportunities are a great way to expand your knowledge and confidence and gain valuable experience.
Join a group
Groups are panels consisting of members of our Ambitious Youth Network, who are tasked with providing expertise and advise to different organisations. Each group requires its members to participate in sessions throughout the year.
- Autism Education Trust: Young Experts panel
- Health Panel
- Postal Museum
- Youth Council
- Norfolk County Council Training
If you are looking for information on looking after your mental health during COVID-19, please visit our page on how to support positive mental wellbeing.
We asked members of the Ambitious Youth Network what they enjoyed most about being part of the network. Below are some quotes with what young people shared with us.
I really enjoy being able to be involved in a range of different opportunities that I want to be part of. I like that I can make a difference, learn more about other autistic young people and share my experiences as an autistic young person. I really enjoy the peer support sessions because socialising with young people around the same age as me, who I feel I can related to, is very important to me. I really enjoy the structure of the peer support sessions, I always enjoy myself, learn something new and I enjoy speaking with everyone.
The thing I love most about the Youth Network is meeting such incredible people. Everyone has such an interesting and inspiring story! Everyone I have met has been kind, understanding, and has their own amazing talents and hobbies that make them THEM.
Being part of the Ambitious Youth Network has had a very positive impact on my life because it has given me a strong sense of belonging, enjoyment, and I don't feel as isolated or lonely anymore. It has given me the opportunity to share my passion about autism with others and to come across other young people with similar views and experiences to me. The peer support sessions have given me the opportunity to attend good quality social activities twice week with other autistic young people and friendly and understanding young staff. Before I joined the Ambitious Youth Network I struggled to take part in group actives and was highly anxious to do so, now I feel much more confident and self-assured in a range of different situations.
Being part of Ambitious has truly helped me grow as a person. I've finally begun to understand my autism, and that has made me understand who I am, and develop my identity. I have found some friends too, and I feel I know what my interests are. I've come to accept my weaknesses, and maybe realise some strengths, and overall I'm much more confident and can actually see a future for myself! I feel like I have real dreams and goals for my life, and I'm excited to hopefully achieve them!
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