Hello and welcome to this new section of the British Youth Council website. Over the last year, we have been working hard with the support of Erasmus funding to start a number of initiatives that support and recognise the huge contribution youth voice workers around the country make. Workers make youth voice possible and here at the British Youth Council we see it as our job to help and support as much as we can.
All of the initiatives we have started this year have been made possible because of a group of practitioners we brought together to help and guide us to do this, I’ll let them introduce themselves to you.
Jenny Weeden: I’m the Senior Youth Engagement and Participation Officer for Peterborough City Council. My role is to oversee all Youth Voice work within the council and I run the Children in Care Council, Care Leaver’s forum, City Youth Council and Youth Parliament.
I got involved with the practitioner’s forum because I know how valuable staff support was for me when I first started out in the youth voice world and how much I get out of meeting with other workers in similar roles.
Mark Bailey: I’m the Advocacy and Engagement Officer for Trafford Council. I am the manager of the small Children’s Rights Service in Trafford. My role is to manage the children in care advocate and promote children and young people’s voices. I am responsible for the Children in Care Council, Youth Cabinet and Independent Visitors service. I got involved with the practitioner’s forum because I saw how well our forum works in the North West and how useful it was to me professionally. I felt that this could be even more successful at a national level
Pippa Curtain – I am the Voice and influence practitioner for North East Lincolnshire. I support the borough-wide youth voice element in our area. This includes Youth Parliament, Youth Action (a social action group) Young Reporters (writing for the local news weekly). I am also working with young people through the Council for Children in Care and Care Leavers forum as well as linking with young people with disabilities. I joined the National Practitioners Forum because I believe that we all have so much to share with each other and I am passionate about supporting us all to do that. Personally, I get so much from the sense of belonging and learning we have in Yorkshire and Humber and know we can nurture this nationally across the network by us all sharing our skills ideas and support for each other
Elaina Phillips: I’m a Senior Commissioning Officer Early Help for Surrey County Council. There is often confusion around what a Commissioner actually does but for me it is about me being the person that starts with understanding the needs of the end users. Prior to this, I have an extensive work history working in central government, Welfare Sector and private Legal practice around building community capacity and resilience and young people’s rights. I wanted to get involved with the Practitioners Forum as I know that what we do changes children and young people’s lives and every interaction counts, but we need a voice too.
Over this year we have designed and delivered Workshops at Conventions, Designed and delivered the workers programme at Annual Sitting, a youth voice workers facebook page (add yourself now if you haven’t already) the first youth voice star awards and now we are here launching the youth voice members resource section. Please do take a look at the resources available here and add resources you feel would be helpful to others.
In addition to all the fantastic resources, you will be able to find here to help you in your work, there are case studies to read and inspire. Each month we will also be featuring a different piece or work or worker here in a new blog – if you would like to write a blog do get in touch.
So please do enjoy these resources we really hope that they help you in your work!