Youth Advisory Council

YAK Terms of Reference

  • Purpose

    The Youth Advisory Council, more informally known as Youth at the Kids (Y@K), aim to change the future of The Royal Children's Hospital (RCH) by making the hospital a better place, through consulting with other children and young people, sharing our opinions and reflecting on our experiences.

    We are a group of young people with a voice who are involved in the hospital. Y@K works with the RCH Executive, patients and other advisory councils. We are passionate about putting young people's needs at the forefront. We strive to represent young people and their ideas for the present and future. We are committed to improving hospital life in concordance with young people and their feedback.



    • Have a say on issues and decisions that involve 'us' (children and young people).
    • Give others an opportunity to have a say by speaking to and/or surveying other children and young people who are involved in the hospital.
    • Feed back ideas, views and opinions from children and young people to RCH Executive.
    • Make RCH more interesting and give RCH Executive ideas about 'having more to do' whilst an inpatient.
    • Publicise Y@K, raise curiosity, awareness and interest.
    • Post ideas, discussions and decisions on a Y@K website that is accessible as an inpatient and from outside RCH.
    • Work   with other advisory councils at RCH.


    • Need to be committed to Y@K.
    • Encourage and support one another to express our views.
    • Let the Y@K know if you can't come to a meeting.
    • Stay involved if you can't make it to a meeting by reading meeting minutes and making comments about what was discussed.


    • Provide Y@K members training and mentoring to help them fulfil their role as a Y@K member.
    • Provide assistance with transport to and from meetings.
    • Provide members with opportunities for public speaking and presenting.
    • Provide opportunities to be a youth representative on various working parties and project teams.
    • Listen to young people and provide authentic opportunities for young people to participate in decision making at RCH.

    Areas of interest

    Youth Council members are interested in finding out more about the following areas and the input they can have. These areas include:

    • New RCH Project.
    • Recreation and youth spaces at the RCH.
    • Effective communication with staff.
    • RCH facilities/ buildings.
    • Including the voices of other young people connected to the RCH.


    Members are 12-20-years-old from different areas that are patients or have had experience at the RCH e.g. siblings, or young people who have a genuine interest in the RCH. Y@K has a core group of 15-20 council members from different areas who attend meetings. Members over 20 years old who still want to be involved will have an organising/mentoring role


    An agenda will be prepared by the chairperson with support from Y@K staff (maximum of three staff) and members will take turns at chairing the meetings. Approximately 10 meetings will run per year, on a monthly basis with additional meetings if the need arises.

    Meeting minutes will be produced after every meeting (a record/notes of what happened at the meeting, what decisions were made and who has agreed to do what tasks). Members unable to attend a Y@K meeting will receive meeting notes and be provided the name of a Y@K member to call for further information.


    We report directly to the Chairperson of the Consumer Engagement and Physical Environment Working Party who then reports to the Y@K Executive Sponsor, who receives a copy of the meeting minutes and is invited to attend Y@K meetings. If we have something we would like to feedback or discuss with the RCH Executive we will negotiate an appropriate way to communicate.   

    Skill building

    It is anticipated Y@K members will:

    • Have our say.
    • Improve organisational skills/time management.
    • Develop more confidence - by doing.
    • Gain experience in running meetings.
    • Gain public speaking skills and have the opportunity to make speeches.
    • Develop teamwork skills.
    • Receive training and mentoring to help fulfil our role as a Y@K member.
    • Help the RCH to become more child and youth friendly.
    • Have a chance to help out the next generation of RCH patients.