Young People's Involvement

Recent changes to Youth Council representation on the Board have prompted a review of young people's involvement with Wyre Children and Young People's (CYP) Trust to ensure that their involvement is meaningful.

This review is timely as it links in with Takeover Month.

Young people are currently involved with Wyre CYP Trust in a number of ways, including representation on the Board, links with Wyre Council's Youth Mayor and Young People's Question Time events and involvement with the Summer Holidays Activities Programme.

What worked well...

Youth Council attend all Wyre CYP Trust Board meetings, supported by their Youth Worker. There has been active involvement from Youth Council representatives in discussions during Board meetings.

One of the key learning points has been the need to ensure that Youth Council representatives are fully briefed on the agenda items (including any jargon and abbreviations commonly used) in advance to ensure that they can play a full part in discussions.

Wyre Council holds quarterly Young People's Question Time events and the Youth Council sets the agenda and chairs these events. This has ensured that the young people have ownership of the event and that the issues discussed are those that are most relevant to young people in Wyre.

Other learning points have been identified, most notably the need to circulate the agenda in sufficient time to promote the event with all Councillors and to ensure that those Councillors most involved with the issues raised by the young people (for example the relevant Portfolio Holder, those representing the ward where an issue is raised) are informed about the agenda in advance and encouraged to attend, ensuring a good attendance, lively debate and actions which can be taken forward as a result. Another key learning point has been that many of the issues raised by young people at these events are not necessarily within the remit of Wyre Council (for example Transport is a current issue) and, despite support and guidance offered by District Councillors, some issues cannot be pursued fully during the Young People's Question Time event.

Result!

The main outcome for this work is the increased engagement and participation of young people with Wyre Council and also Wyre Children and Young People's Trust. The current review with the Youth Council is focusing on a number of areas and considering the following:

  • Improving participation on the Board, for example through effective pre-meetings, identifying agenda items in advance to involve Youth Council representatives in discussions at Board level more actively, recognising the valuable insight which representatives can provide during Board meetings and encouraging Board members to seek the views of Youth Council representatives and highlighting current Youth Council campaigns at Board level to understand where there are further links and opportunities for joint working and increased participation.
  • Potentially widening out Young People's Question Time events to Wyre CYP Trust members, in addition to the current attendees (Youth Council, Wyre Councillors and Wyre Council Corporate Management Team) to act as another mechanism for involving young people and highlighting and addressing their concerns through Wyre CYP Trust.
  • Working jointly on a Wyre CYP Trust project, for example 2013 Summer Holidays Activities Programme, to build on the involvement of the Youth Council in the 2012 Programme and further joint working with the Youth Council.

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