Our People.

Our People Aly, Case study

...our new vision is one that better understands, cares for and values our young people’s mental health.

Our organisational values will guide our actions and behaviours and influence the way we work with each other and how we serve our various audiences. We will live our values in our everyday behaviours and actions.

Jigsaw - Our Strategy 2018–2020

Our People

We strive to be a good employer, and at the end of 2017 we employed 108 people, working across our national office and Jigsaw services around the country.

We engage with both staff and volunteers regularly and value their opinions and receive feedback through a variety of channels. During 2017 we consulted and listened to our employees in the development of our new strategic plan. Our people work directly with young people and their communities on a daily basis, and know best the challenges they face. We consulted via online forums, regular regional and national team meetings, and our annual All Staff Day.

Jigsaw recognises the importance of attracting and retaining talented staff to ensure our continued success. We aim to maximise our impact in supporting young people and their communities, and doing this successfully means balancing different needs. These include ensuring value for money in everything we do including how we pay our staff, whilst offering a wage which enables us to attract, retain and motivate people with the right knowledge, experience and skills to do the complex work required.

The Board of Directors has overall responsibility for our pay policy and the salaries of our executive. It exercises this through the HR and Governance Sub-committee, which is a sub-committee of the Board. The sub-committee considers the remuneration of the Chief Executive and members of the Senior Management Team, as well as reviewing the pay policy for all staff. Jigsaw uses HSE, public service pay scales, and pay ranges within the charity sector as a reference in setting salaries for employees.

We continue to invest in the learning and development of our people. Jigsaw staff are provided with a range of benefits and training courses including pension scheme, Continued Professional Development and payment of professional membership fees.

Youth Advisory Panel
Since Jigsaw was founded in 2006, young people have been involved in helping us to develop and design our services. Through a national and regional network of Youth Advisory Panels, over 130 youth volunteers aged 16-25 help to inform and guide our decision making at all levels of the organisation. Youth Advisory Panel members are represented on the Board of Directors, the Board sub-committees, involved in recruitment of staff, represent Jigsaw at national and international events, and help us to make sure our work is relevant to the communities we support.

2017 highlights
Over 80 Youth Advisory Panel members took part in the sixth annual Youth Learning Network, coming together to share knowledge and plans for the next year.

The Youth Advisory Panel were consulted and listened to in the development of our new strategic plan.

Youth Advisory Panel members represented Jigsaw at the 4th International Conference on Youth Mental Health in Dublin. They were actively involved in discussions and sharing their experiences with an international audience.

Youth Advisory Panel members from Jigsaw Dublin City took part in BBC+ in Switzerland at the invitation of the National Youth Council of Ireland. There they met with a number of youth councils from across Europe to discuss and inform youth council policy on LGBT and gender.

Aly, Case Study

Our national and regional network of Youth Advisory Panels help to inform and guide how we support the mental health of Ireland’s young people. Aly shares her story about being part of the Youth Advisory Panel at Jigsaw Offaly...

I had just turned 16 when I first became part of the Youth Advisory Panel for Jigsaw Offaly. It’s hard to believe that was over three years ago. A member of the Youth Advisory Panel had delivered a talk to us in school one day about Jigsaw Offaly. They went on to tell us about the Youth Advisory Panel, a group of youth volunteers aged 16-25, their role was to bridge the gap between the youth community and Jigsaw in Offaly.

I felt apprehensive about signing up, despite my innate passion for the issues surrounding youth mental health. None of my circle of friends seemed interested and it appeared easier to go with the crowd and not bother. However, I decided to give it a go, what had I to lose? Absolutely nothing it turned out. In fact, I have gained so much from my experience as a Youth Advisory Panel member, and I have never once looked back.

I’ll never forget the butterflies in my stomach prior to my initial interview. This was a one on one interview with Angela, the Youth and Community Engagement Worker at Jigsaw Offaly, just after I signed up as a youth volunteer. Seeing as my only experience of interviews were those for a job, I was incredibly nervous. Mind you, my nerves were quickly settled when Angela warmly welcomed me into the kitchen, offered me a cup of tea and biscuit. It was more like a chat than an interview, and what I loved most about it was being asked what I thought about mental health and the stigma that surrounds it amongst young people. It was so unlike school, where I sat at a desk all day, taking down notes and listening to a teacher speak to a class of 30+ people. Here, I was an individual, and it was my own personal suggestions and opinions that were being considered, nothing I could have learned in the school yard. I left that day feeling inspired and motivated to strive to make a difference.

Every four weeks, the Youth Advisory Panel meet in Jigsaw Offaly to discuss how they feel Jigsaw can maintain and improve its current services, in keeping with the ever-changing youth population. These meetings are always informal, and provide people with an opportunity to express their opinions as well as a place where we can chill out and catch up with our friends.

One of the best things about the Youth Advisory Panel is that it can appeal to anyone, regardless of their backgrounds, interests and hobbies. From sports events like the BoxyMo Giro D’Jigsaw to mother-baby coffee mornings, there was something for everyone to take part in. For me, my passion lies in creative writing, and when I was given the opportunity to write a monologue surrounding men’s mental health, it was beyond my wildest dreams. I was terrified of course, given that this piece was going to be performed in front of an audience of young people just like me in both Birr and Portlaoise, alongside other fantastic monologues written by well-known amateur Irish writers. However, the emotions running through me as I saw my paper draft transformed into a stage production, those I will never forget for as long as I’ll live.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with the Youth Advisory Panel over the last three years. I have grown in confidence and gained some amazing new friends and I cannot thank Jigsaw enough for giving me the opportunity to play an active role in my local community in trying to lessen the stigma surrounding mental health.

Aly was a member of the Jigsaw Offaly Youth Advisory Panel from 2015 - 2017.

I left that day feeling inspired and motivated to strive to make a difference...

Aly - Jigsaw Offaly Youth Advisory Panel from 2015 - 2017.

Jigsaw helped me find my voice again. It showed me that even just by talking to someone, anyone, just by expressing your thoughts out loud, you can immediately see a solution or get help from friends and family to most, if not all, problems.

A quote from a young person who attended Jigsaw for support with their mental health

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