The British Youth Council has reignited its efforts to ensure young people have the opportunities to influence social and political change during the global outbreak of Coronavirus. The youth-led charity states that decision makers should use the momentum and stories coming to light during International Youth Day to ensure young people have the chance to inform the decisions that affect their lives.
The Youth Voice programme, which has been delivered since the summer of 2011, will continue to provide young people across the UK with the skills and knowledge to influence public decision-making at a local and national level. This year’s programme will support young people to make a difference as volunteers, campaigners and leaders in their communities, enabling young people to bring about change digitally.
Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, Chair, British Youth Council said: “Young people remain passionate about the issues that affect them and their communities. We must persist that young people’s voices remain at the table to ensure their thoughts and concerns are taken into account and acted upon.
“We’re excited to continue offering young people opportunities to influence the decision making that is happening in their communities.”
As part of the programme, young people involved in local decision making will be given the chance to take part in topical debate and discussion within a series of ‘Big Conversations’. Some young people from programme will be brought together as part of the Young Leaders Collective. These young advocates, will join other British Youth Council members, to learn how to deliver and lead others to carry out social action effectively.
In the Autumn, thousands of young people across the country will be able to participate in the UK Youth Parliament’s Make Your Mark campaign, the annual ballot of young people’s views on the biggest issues facing the UK. The campaign, which is supported by UK Parliament and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, creates a unique opportunity to reach out to young people who go on to be opinion formers and leaders of the future.
Young people continue to care passionately about tackling climate change, ending child poverty, improving mental health and lowering the voting age, according to the British Youth Council. The issues form some of the priorities the charity will pursue and advocate over the course of the coming year.