Policy plays a big role in our work here at the British Youth Council. It is driven directly from the manifestos of the UK Youth Parliament and the British Youth Council. These important documents, like all the work we do, are formed and reviewed by young people depicting what local and international issues matter most to them. The motions put forth in these documents also include the British Youth Council’s annual priority topics, which young people actively go on to campaign on, with one of our biggest campaigns being the Votes at 16 campaign. With the help of many other organisations, coalitions with the same aims, and government groups we are involved with such as All Party Parliamentary Groups, campaigns like this in particular have gone on to make real change in other parts of the UK.
Our policy work as helped young people interact and engage with various political stakeholders in a wide range of programmes. Some of these include the Covid-19 Task Force Enquiry, the DCMS Youth Review, and the Youth Voice Group, who have worked to pair young people with government departments such as the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Cabinet Office to consult on topics such as domestic abuse. They have helped us to create platforms and opportunities where young people can feel empowered to speak up on important matters that affect their lives, and make relevant changes.
Another programme led by young people is the Youth Select Committee. This has showcased the real importance of our policy work, having launched their report on knife crime in 2019, which the Government has acknowledged and responded to. Prior this report, young people facilitated various roundtables, consultations, and meetings forming crucial relationships with political leaders and community organisations also keen to dismantle the knife crime epidemic.
Finally, to shine light on the amazing international team and their tremendous engagement within international policy. The British Youth Council currently have two of our UK Young Ambassadors actively serving and representing on international boards; the Commonwealth Youth Council and The European Youth Parliament. Our international team help represent the young people in our community on international issues such as the environment and gender-based violence, having recently written a joint letter with the European Youth Forum to our Foreign Office calling for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. In all, young people have shown tremendous commitment to making positive change in the world of policy.
If you care about our policy work which enables us to empower young people and provide them with a platform to speak up and be heard, please show your support with a small donation, or sign up to our newsletter to keep up to date with our activities!
The Back Youth Alliance is a collaboration of senior leaders and youth representatives from some of the UK’s leading youth charities, working together to present a coherent voice to decision-makers with and for young people.
The youth sector gives critical support, providing a lifeline for many vulnerable young people, particularly those living in areas of deprivation. Yet at a time when young people most need this support, the youth sector is facing an unprecedented funding crisis.
We readily welcome the fact the Government has listened and announced a £16.5 million dedicated youth covid-19 support fund that will support youth organisations continuing to deliver through the winter months.
The Chancellor announced £100million to fund NCS and youth facilities in the Spending Review. This focus on investment in youth facilities is welcome at a time when youth service transformation and expansion is needed most. However there has been no mention of the £500 million Youth Investment Fund manifesto commitment which was promised over a year ago. Without confirmation of this funding, this means that delivering on the Government’s agenda of levelling up and providing transformational opportunities for young people is at risk and will be delayed for another year.
We are urgently seeking clarity around the status of the Youth Investment Fund, as for every year we delay in delivering the much needed revenue and capital funding for services, the more young people lose out, and the more society misses out on young people’s potential to help us build back better.
The British Youth Council is pleased to announce that it has appointed a new Chief Executive, Jo Hobbs. Jo joins the organisation from Girlguiding where she is currently the Operations Director and will start with the British Youth Council in November.
Jon Foster, Chair, British Youth Council said: “On behalf of the board of trustees, I am delighted to announce that Jo Hobbs will join the British Youth Council in November this year as our new Chief Executive.
“From the moment you first meet Jo her passion for empowering young people is clear. Joining us from Girlguiding, one of our largest national members, Jo understands how the British Youth Council works and the impact our organisation can have; we have great confidence in her vision for British Youth Council ‘s future.
“James Cathcart has been an incredible servant for the British Youth Council, young people and the youth voice sector over the last 8 years. We believe Jo Hobbs is the right person to continue the progress James has made and lead us into the next great chapter in the British Youth Council history.”
Jo Hobbs, incoming Chief Executive, British Youth Council said: “I am thrilled to be taking up the role of Chief Executive at the British Youth Council. I believe in the power of youth participation and the importance of them having a place at the table in any decisions that affect their lives. I am looking forward to working with the amazing young people who are part of the British Youth Council, the fantastic staff team, and our members and partners to ensure that more young people feel empowered to make their voice heard and to make a positive difference in their communities. I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the British Youth Council through its next phase of development.”