Testimonies

My experience has been fantastic. Everyone at IARS has been so welcoming and friendly. I am grateful for the opportunity to have met so many inspiring people. (..) Volunteering at IARS was a fantastic opportunity to learn and give something back, but also it provided me with a career path. I have learned more about NGOs and the charity sector, and I also know that I'd love to be part of it.

Madalina Merlusca ESC Volunteer
Madalina Merlusca

I was able to listen to many interesting talks and discussions and I am very grateful that IARS made it possible for me to be part of it, as I got to know amazing projects and organisations that work around the world towards a better future and I am positive that all this new input will definitely help me in my future career.

Annika HeinrichIARS Former Volunteer
ANNIKA HEINRICH

Your work has made real inroads into tackling crime. As the mother of a teenager myself, I am pleased that you have challenged the negative perception of young people to better their life chances and also to value them as equally important citizens in our society. Work like this aligns very closely with my own agenda, and I have no doubt will be part of the solutions we all want for young people, families and communities in London, and indeed across the country. You have made a big difference and this knowledge can spread like the ripple effect of the pebble in the pond to making other communities safer and with better outcomes for young people.

Baroness NewloveVictims’ Commissioner for England and Wales from 2012 to 2019
Baroness Newlove

At a time when negative perceptions of young people are increasing, the 99% Campaign is vital in dispelling negative stereotypes of young people and promoting their involvement in civil society. Nominet Trust is excited by the role of technology in giving young people a voice and in scaling up the 99% Campaign across the UK.

Annika SmallCEO of The Nominet Trust
Annika Small

Young people's voices matter, but with so many challenges facing them around education and employment, it is easy for those voices to be lost. The work IARS is continuing with the 99 per cent campaign is an important step in giving our youth the chances they need to develop as individuals and contribute to the growth and strength of Britain, and I am pleased to support their on-going efforts to affect change through a youth-led structure.

Brooke Kinsella
Brooke Kinsella

We have been working with IARS for more than 5 years and their professionalism and expertise in the field of education have been of great importance. Through our partnership we have enriched our knowledge of research methods and have produced high-quality results. We look forward to working with IARS on new projects in future!

Antonis Foukaras

My name is Tatiana. I joined IARS because I was looking for experience to work around research programmes as I think that is the most appropriate way forward to influence policy making. So I found IARS and I had the opportunity to study a Certificate in Youth Policy in partnership with London Metropolitan University. I have personally found this studying and working experience very exciting because I am already working with young people from Latin American backgrounds, and I can visualise the potential of investigation when improving the poor conditions of a community. I therefore feel very thankful for being part of this initiative.

Tatiana GaravitoIARS Former Volunteer
Tatiana Garavito

I am grateful for the diversity of my internship at IARS. I have learnt about restorative justice, child abuse, refugees, marginalization, early school leaving, unemployment, social policies, and more, alongside learning about the operations of a charity and its projects. I feel my understanding of society has increased, and I am now even more passionate about working towards increased social cohesion and equality. Overall, this internship has broadened my perspective, increased my knowledge, and spurred my interest in social issues. I have had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside such lovely, interesting people who have helped me develop and refine my skills.

Rebecca IARS Former Intern
Rebecca

As lead for Youth Engagement in the MPS I fully support the messages of the 99% campaign in highlighting all the positive contributions that young people make to our communities and society overall. I am privileged to spend a lot of time with brilliant young people who continually inspire me by dedicating their time to helping us to make life better and safer for Londoners. I believe we must do all we can to celebrate and publicise the large number of brilliant young role models we have in order to inspire more young people to fulfil their potential in similar ways. The 99% campaign provides us with an important and exciting opportunity to do just that.

Gwanwyn MasonHead Of Youth Crime And Engagement Strategy, Metropolitan Police Service
Gwanwyn Mason

I fully support the ethos of the 99% campaign. It is a great platform to allow young people’s views and voices to be valued and understood in a space where they are actively contributing and enhancing their skills. It is a positive way of recognising, celebrating and publicising the positive work young people are doing across the country. NCVYS is working hard to highlight how important partnerships and collaborative working are to developing services for young people. As a representative body for the voluntary youth sector we know how important it is to recognise the hard work it takes to build strong partnerships. The 99% campaign could not be a success without strong collaboration and I urge those that are not yet involved in supporting the campaign to think about what you can do.  I am delighted that we are supporting the IARS Research and Leadership awards which will continue to celebrate the effort put into strong partnership working in the sector.

Faiza Khan Deputy Chief Executive And Director Of Policy And Communications, NCVYS
Faiza Khan

My name is Danni, I’m 20 and I have been with IARS for around 10 months. I originally got involved by signing up for the Certificate in Youth Policy. I never thought in a million years that I would be doing a University course as school was never my thing, but here I am in my last 2 months! I’ve gained so much confidence while studying and volunteering at IARS, I recently sat on a panel in front of 100 people discussing the new proposal for the changes to Stop and Account. Needless to say I was nervous, but I got through it and I was so proud of myself for standing my ground and voicing my opinions. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve taken part in at IARS and I’m so grateful for the opportunities I have been given.

Danni BriggsIARS Former Volunteer
Danni Briggs

I chose to intern at IARS this summer because I am deeply passionate about fairness, equality and most importantly, justice. It was inspiring to be a part of an organisation that not only shares these same values, but is actively involved in promoting such beliefs to invoke social change. Although my time at IARS has come to an end, I’m walking away a more experienced, determined and passionate person. I am extremely grateful for all that I have learned here, and this experience is one I will never forget. All my love and respect for you, IARS, keep doing your thing!

Kara IARS Former Intern
Kara

Having completed my undergraduate degree I was unsure as to which route I should take. Hence I decided to take a gap year and wanted to use this time as an opportunity to develop my skills and explore what I wanted to do in the future. I found IARS and decided to contribute to the 99% Campaign. Since then I have not only gained first-hand experience in digital campaigning but also learnt so much in relation to youth issues and advocacy. I now believe to be much  more confident and aware of issues in our society and the need to promote positive change. For the near future I  hope to pursue a postgraduate degree in international public policy and apply to the Civil Service.

Goknur OzerIARS Former Intern
Goknur Ozer

I started volunteering with IARS in June 2011 and I was volunteering on the Young Women in the Criminal Justice System project. I was initially attracted to volunteering for the organisation because I was interested in learning more about the criminal justice system and I was excited at the prospect of volunteering for an organisation that is a "force for change". Whilst I have really enjoyed getting to know the other volunteers on the project and learning about the experiences of young women in the criminal justice system. I have found my volunteering experience enjoyable as the project is practical and I have a real feeling of being able to make a difference. I feel that I have a better grasp of how research is conducted by NGOs and the experience has really improved my team work skills.

Sufia ShahnawazIARS Former Intern
Sufia Shahnawaz

The current financial climate has hit young people the hardest. I encourage you to support IARS, a charity I am a Patron of. IARS has a mission to enable young people to reach their potential and participate in society as equal citizens independently of their background. But they can't do it alone. I look forward to joining you in supporting their cause.

Lord Charles Falconer Of ThorotonIARS Patron and Lord Chancellor (2003-7)
Lord Charles Falconer Of Thoroton

Interning at IARS was one of the best opportunities that I had during my time in London in 2018. I really feel that this little organisation allowed me to not only work in fields that I am passionate about but also work with a great team that is friendly and joyful. I want to personally thank you for allowing me to help you with the projects that you were working on. I feel that not many interns, especially those without a degree such as myself, would be given the chance to work on something so big and important and would usually just be given menial tasks to do (not that there is anything wrong with that, I quite enjoy helping people).Thanks for giving me all the support as my supervisor and ensuring that my experience here was made as meaningful and comfortable as possible. I will definitely miss you and the team.

Faris WongIARS Former Intern
Faris Wong

My name is Ania Dwornik. I am from Vancouver, Canada, and am presently in the last stages of my Masters of Social Work. I came to the IARS for a 3-month practicum placement. I first learned about the IARS through the restorative justice community, following the publication of Rights & Restoration within Youth Justice, and was drawn to the Ania Dwornik due to its user-led research model and emphasis on social policy analysis.  Back home I volunteer with a restorative justice organization, and am doing RJ research as part of my Masters thesis.  My specific interests are in restorative justice and mental health. At IARS I am working on the RJ Europe Project, and conducting my own research on mental health as part of that initiative.  With luck I will find participants for my study and help generate some important implications for social work and restorative justice practitioners!

Ania DwornikIARS Former Intern
Ania Dwornik

Hannah has cerebral palsy and volunteered with IARS between 2008 and 2010. During her time at IARS Hannah represented the organisation at various events and designed marketing material for projects. She completed both a v50 award and a vimpact award. Hannah became a champion to show other young people that disability is not a barrier to achieving ambitions.

Hannah WilkinsonIARS Former Volunteer
Hannah Wilkinson

I started volunteering with IARS in September 2010. I have attended several training days including Active Young Citizens, Employment Law and Young People, Housing Law and Young People and Police Powers and Young People. Alex is currently volunteering as a young researcher on our Serious Youth Violence on Public Transport project. Volunteering at IARS has provided me with the opportunity to have my activities and learning accredited at a university level. I have acquired a lot of knowledge around policy issues that affect young people…developed skills such as time management, team work, communication and research skills. Through reading different reports and conducting research, I have also developed my reading and analytical skills. The greatest thing that interests me in IARS is their determination to make a difference to young people, who often struggle to have their voices heard on youth related policies.

Alex AmilekeIARS Former Intern
Alex Amileke

I started volunteering with IARS when I was unemployed in order to develop my skills to help me find a job. I got involved in projects with a focus on criminal justice issues, helping to evaluate practices such Stop and Search. I undertook IARS' training in Human Rights and IARS' Research Methods Training. Through the opportunities available at IARS I returned to studying and successfully sought part-time work.

Mo OmerIARS Former Volunteer
Mo Omer

It has been overall an amazing experience interning at this organisation. Having it be my first time in the UK I was very nervous about coming here in general, let alone starting a new job in a foreign country. Upon my first day, I felt more than welcome here in the office. It definitely took a few days to adjust to the differences between US and UK office environments. But, once I got comfortable, I felt like I had been here for months. In my brief 7 weeks I feel as though I have learned an incredible amount. Between the two projects I have been working on, Drop-In and Eurodesk, I have learned more about the EU and the UK in general than I had in my 14 years of schooling back in the States. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be able to work with IARS, and very thankful for the experience I gained here

Emma ColburnIARS Former Intern

Charley first started volunteering with IARS in February 2011 as part of his work placement for his Youth Work course at Lewisham College. As a volunteer, Charley has helped facilitate two focus groups on changes to Police ‘Stop and Account’ procedures at The Tower Project and Westminster school. This provided him with the opportunity to facilitate groups of young people, which is a main component of his course. Charley has also attended several of our training days includingPolice Powers and Young People, Employment Law and Young People and Housing Law and Young People. He is currently volunteering as a young researcher on our Serious Youth Violence on Public Transport project. IARS interests me because I'm interested in the topics of their research projects. During my time at IARS I've found I can communicate better with people as a whole, and have developed research skills from both participating and facilitating focus groups.

Charley BirdIARS Former Volunteer
Charley Bird

Francesca undertook a part-time volunteering opportunity with IARS in 2009 as part of a placement organised with London Metropolitan University. She wanted to develop her research knowledge and skills and undertook IARS' Research Methods Training. She was supported to carry out youth-led research for the first edition of the Youth Voice Journal. Francesca completed the project, became a published author and went on to become involved in event organisation for IARS. She was also recruited by IARS staff to be the Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Group. Her experience with IARS gave her the confidence to apply successfully for a postgraduate course in Social Policy and Research Methods at the London School of Economics.

Francesca OvidiIARS Former Volunteer
Francesca Ovidi

I came to IARS to gain experience in journalism to enable me to realise my ambition of becoming a journalist. I worked with Davina to contribute a thought-provoking article to the Youth Voice journal special edition exploring issues around attitudes towards disability. As part of this volunteering opportunity I have worked with a variety of young disabled people and I become involved in youth-led film opportunities to promote IARS' work. I also participated in IARS' Research Methods Training. I have built up an impressive CV which will help me fulfill my ambition of becoming a journalist.

Anaam RazaIARS Former Volunteer
Anaam Raza

I have been volunteering with IARS in 2010. I have been involved in a range of research projects and undertook IARS' Research Methods Training. I was nominated to participate in IARS' Take Over Day as part of which I shadowed IARS' Chairperson for a day. I improved my understanding of charity governance. I believe that my experience at IARS has been been highly valuable to my future, providing me with skills and essential experiences for seeking employment successfully.

Ifeatu NnaobiIARS Former Volunteer
Ifeatu Nnaobi

Jamal Holder first started working with IARS in late September 2010. He applied for an apprenticeship position as a Networks and Outreach Assistant and progressed to the role of Research and Administration Assistant. Before coming to IARS Jamal had been unemployed for over 6 months and was on Job Seekers Allowance. Since starting at IARS he has not only developed practical skills for the workplace but has also enrolled on IARS' Certificate in Youth Policy. Jamal has taken on these challenges enthusiastically and hopes they will enable him to fulfill his dream of opening up his own youth centre.

Jamal HolderIARS Former Intern
Jamal Holder

Davina began volunteering with IARS in June 2010, she is currently a student at a local college, and has contributed to the Youth Voice journal special edition, which will be published in 2011. Davina excelled in meeting the journalism challenges of this project and developed skills in working with different people from a range of backgrounds. She undertook  IARS' Research Methods Training as part of her involvement in this project. Davina contributed an article to the journal exploring young people's attitudes towards disability and how this impacts on the way that they relate to the forthcoming Paralympics. She has already developed her understanding of equality and disability issues, and is seeking to share that learning with other young people through her article.

Davina MerchantIARS Former Intern
Davina Merchant

Finding a think tank that is unapologetically dedicated to equality and inclusivity proved difficult – IARS, however, stood out as an organisation that championed justice and community-led solutions to social issues. I have learnt so much, sharpened my research skills, and been exposed to some fascinating people and their incredible work. The IARS office is, in and of itself, a microcosm of the society it strives to establish: inclusive, welcoming, and supportive. Within just a few days, I felt like part of the IARS team. For students or young people seeking an internship where they can actually hold a stake, participate in projects, and widen their skillset, I would strongly recommend considering working with IARS International Institute.

AntaraIARS Former Volunteer

I joined the 99% campaign last September (2011). It was a strange time for me, as I was making the decision whether or not to go back to university to undertake a postgraduate degree. I made the decision to go back, on the condition that I got involved is sufficient activities beyond my studies that the graduate job market would be (hopefully) more malleable to me in a years’ time than it was then. The 99% campaign became a fundamental part of this. It has given me the opportunity to get my work published online, to engage with policy makers and work with young people. I fully anticipate that it will continue to give me many wonderful opportunities in the forthcoming months.

Alex McDonaldIARS 99% Campaign Intern
Alex McDonald

I spent a week working with IARS for a work experience placement from the 5th to the 8th of July 2011. Through the course of the week I took part in many different activities such as updating IARS’s social media, shadowing volunteer inductions, working on a training brochure, gathering information for an online auction fundraising event and brainstorming ideas for the TFL 99% Campaign poster project. I thoroughly enjoyed my work experience with IARS and I feel that I have learnt a lot about the organisation and government policies. I feel that this experience has opened my eyes to the many careers surrounding politics and journalism and I would love to stay involved with the organisation in future.

Clara CollingwoodIARS Former Intern
Clara Collingwood