Working together, UK Youth, The Scouts, Girlguiding, National Youth Agency, NCS Trust, Youth United Foundation, Step up to Serve, The Prince’s Trust, and the British Youth Council have been calling on the Government to develop a Youth Charter.
We welcome the news that the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Jeremy Wright MP, has announced a new Youth Charter with Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society, Mims Davies MP, at the Prime Minister’s Serious Violence Summit.
Commenting on the Government’s announcement, Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Chair of the British Youth Council, said: “We’re delighted to hear about the Government’s new commitment to young people. Young people across the country are facing a unique set of challenges and it’s imperative that the Government respond to evolving needs of young people.
“Young people should be a the forefront of the decision making which affects their lives not just because it’s the right thing to do but because they care about their futures.”
The time has come for a new, bolder approach to youth strategy that acknowledges the specific opportunities and challenges facing this generation of young people. We are working collaboratively to unlock investment in youth services to ensure all young people are given the opportunities they need to be able to thrive.
Our shared vision is for a nation where all young people have access to appropriate, high quality resources and services and where they are:
- Skilled and equipped to learn and earn
- Experiencing positive health and well-being
- Active members of their communities and society
- Safe and confident in their future
- Treated fairly and equally
Together we are committed to empowering young people to become transformative leaders in our communities to deliver positive change. To achieve this, we must put young people at the front and centre of joined up service design and delivery.
A new Youth Charter will facilitate an integrated, youth centric, approach across the myriad services many young people interact with in their day to day lives, ranging from formal and non-formal education and social services, to criminal justice, health care, housing and benefits.
As part of this offer, young people must have access to high quality and universally available non-formal education and development opportunities. These activities, including youth clubs, sports clubs, art and drama groups, social enterprises, after school clubs and uniformed youth groups, social action, the #iwill campaign, and the NCS programme, all contribute to the richness of a young persons’ social development journey and should be accessible, affordable, open to all, and nationally coordinated to ensure parity of access.
We also welcome the Governments desire to ensure youth workers have the skills they need to best support young people and their commitment to explore the renewal of vital youth work qualifications.
The British Youth Council are backing a new Youth Charter to put young people where they belong, at the top of the agenda. Through developing and delivering a cohesive approach to services for young people we can improve inequality and social mobility, generate positive outcomes that benefit wider society, and unlock cost savings in health, criminal justice, and social care.
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!