The British Youth Council will take young people’s voices to the heart of government with new funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The year-long pilot is set to give young people aged 10-25 the opportunity to shape Government policy.
The new funding, will enable the charity to support the creation of a new Youth Voice Steering Group, a Young Inspectors Group and the commission of a new digital engagement research project. The projects form part of the Government’s commitment to encouraging young people to participate in making national policy. The British Youth Council will work with The Mix, Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit in Yorkshire and Humber to deliver the new innovative projects.
Commenting on the new funding, Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said “We want young people to have a central role in shaping the future of our society.
“Too often the work of government can feel distant from their real lives, but these new projects will give young people an extra voice, make them feel more valued, and show them that they can make a difference and their views can have a positive impact.”
In reaction to the positive news Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Chair of the British Youth Council said: “As the national youth council, we believe that young people should be heard and have their views valued and acted upon.
“We are proud to be working with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the Regional Youth Work Units and The Mix to pilot new approaches to engaging young people in the policy process.
“The British Youth Council has over 70 years of ensuring young people are truly listened to on issues that affect their lives and we are delighted that DCMS has committed to putting young people at the heart of government.
“We’re looking forward to sharing the outcomes and lessons learned to evidence the fact that not only is it possible to involve young people in policy making, but it’s necessary and beneficial for all.”
30 young people from across England will be recruited for the Youth Groups to be involved in policy development and the monitoring and evaluation of national programmes. Regional partners will be targeting those with little or no youth voice experience and from seldom heard groups such as young carers and children in care to take part.
The digital engagement research project will explore how digital methods can be used to engage young people in policy making. The project will be led by The Mix, who will be providing support and helping the young people design a digital tool that could be used in future to engage more young people in how policy is made.
The British Youth Council will be releasing further information about the new projects in due course.