Online Youth Network
Ambitious about Autism has a rapidly growing online Ambitious Youth Network. Through the network, autistic young people between the ages of 13-25 can share experiences, connect with others, have their say on Ambitious about Autism’s projects and access a range of opportunities to advocate and improve services for autistic young people.
The Ambitious Youth Network is run and managed by the Participation team.
The live feed is where members can view information that we post daily from within Ambitious about Autism and the autism and disability community. Our weekly posting schedule is as follows:
Monday: What’s on this week
Tuesday: Alternative opportunities
Thursday: Autism and disability news
Friday: Employ Autism opportunities
Each month, there is a live webinar available to all members of the Ambitious Youth Network. We bring in an expert guest speaker and the webinar is recorded and kept on the platform.
Previous webinar titles include: “Masking and mental health”, “Autism and art: how my identity shapes my artwork”, “Travel and autism: the opportunity for self-development” and “Music and Autism: a special relationship”.
Peer support sessions (16+)
Peer support sessions are available to young people aged 16-25. They are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5:45-6:45pm on 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, such as arts and crafts, comedy night, DJ night and quiz night.
Apply for opportunities
Youth Network opportunities are voluntary and aim to educate the public about autism and making life better for autistic young people.
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 (16+)
Groups involve members of our Ambitious Youth Network, who provide expertise and advice to different organisations. Each group requires its members to participate in sessions throughout the year. Some groups involve opportunities that are paid. Groups include:
Ambitious Youth Network Youth Advisors
Autistic and OK Youth Advisors
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 activities 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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