80 young people aged 11 – 18 elected as Youth Representatives from local Youth Councils, local Children in Care Councils, Young Carers’ Groups, and Members of the UK Youth Parliament from across the region came together as Youth Voice Yorkshire and Humber at Sheffield Town Hall Saturday 1st June. Youth Voice Y&H were proud to host the British Youth Council’s first convention of the year and everyone arrived prepared to tackle a packed agenda of issues and skills training.
Local MP Paul Bloomfield had the first slot to gain young people’s views on lowering the national voting age to 16 years of age. He engaged in a healthy debate with many young people who doubted the wisdom of reducing the voting age, fearing in the main that young people would not be sufficiently well informed to cast their votes. Paul Bloomfield remembers speaking to people aged 18, 28, 38, 58 and 88 who were not well informed. That however was not a reason for denying them the vote! After half an hour of questions a straw poll was taken on whether to lower the voting age. The young people voted 3 to 1 in favour of lowering the voting age to16.
Young People from the Regional Steering Group then delivered workshops on Team Management, Debating Skills, and The Media and PR. David Clark from BYC delivered an ‘Our Space’ presentation on opportunities to talk online with other young people in mainland Europe.
After lunch Members of the UK Youth Parliament prepared for the National Annual Sitting which will take place this year at Leeds University in July, and the other youth representatives worked on the regional campaign to improve life skills training in Schools and within the community – creating a new ‘Curriculum 4 Life’.
Finally young people respond to the Department for Education’s request to feedback on how well young people’s views are gathered and taken into account when decisions are being made on matters that affect them. Article 12 of the United Nations Rights of the Child requires governments to measure how well the country is meeting this undertaking.
Bill Eve, Youth Voice Co-ordinator at the Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and Humber said: ‘This convention has been very much prepared by young people themselves. Experienced young people on the Regional Steering Group have planned the agenda, prepared individual training sessions which they delivered in person. This makes the whole skills training very credible and accessible to the youth representatives and will help them to make a really positive contribution to local services and policies in their home cities, towns and villages across the region.’
David MacKintyre, who will take up post at the region’s PG at the end of February addressed the members of the Y&H Children in Care Councils last Saturday at their regional meeting held in Barnsley Town Hall.
He outlined how UKYP works and how BYC and the Youth Work Unit are also seeking to involve other youth representatives from local Youth Councils and all other representative bodies, so as to make the voice of young people bigger, better organised, and louder than ever before! He answered questions and received a good round of applause at the end. Well done David!
Brilliant speech by Nicole flying the flag for Youth Voice in Leeds!
The whole afternoon session was recorded. Fast forward to 59 minutes in to see the Mayor introduce Nicole’s input into the City plan. You can see she inspires the group (audience was around 150 people) Well done you Nicole!
Sixty three members of the UK Youth Parliament and youth workers, from all over the region met at County Hall, Northallerton Saturday 8th December where North Yorkshire hosted the British Youth Council’s (BYC) final Convention for the year.
Young people worked hard in workshops:
- Planning a new Regional Leadership Team for Youth Voice Activities in Yorkshire and Humber
- Learning ways to influence Parliament and future legislation led by Parliamentary Outreach Team
- Sharpening Up interviewing Skills with a workshop led by experienced Radio York journalist Jerry Scott
- Writing letters to political leaders on the UK Youth Parliament’s new Campaign ‘ A Curriculum to prepare us for life’ which was voted for by Members of the UK Youth Parliament in the House of Commons Chamber on November 23rd.
Over lunch participants questioned Rebecca Taylor MEP on her work as a Member of the European Parliament, The young people were very appreciative of Rebecca’s time as she attended despite having lost her voice and needing a microphone just to make herself heard in whispers!
Young people also shared the huge amount of work they have undertaken on campaigning to improve bus services for people in the region. At the end of the day they also responded to central government’s request to have feedback on the national Healthwatch programme that gains views from the whole population on health services.
Finally Doncaster MBC was applauded for becoming the sixth Local Authority in the region to launch a Card to support Young Carers attending secondary school. This campaign was initiated last year by young people to provide tangible support to and greater awareness of the needs of young carers in the region.
Members of the UK Youth Parliament, Youth Councillors and other youth representatives from Yorkshire & Humberside gathered in Hull on the 13th October to contribute to a day of discussion and decision making.
Workshops were held on: the regional transport campaign, how to set up a Young Reporter Group and how to make the regional organisation more youth led. Amaka Uchegbu was elected as the regional debate lead at the House of Commons Debates on 23rd November and David McIntyre was elected as the region’s ‘PG’ – Procedures Group Representative for Yorkshire and Humber.
After lunch three senior councillors from Hull, one MP, a police officer and Lord Prescott were quizzed in a Question Time panel on votes for 16 year olds, ‘legal highs’ and drug education in schools, political education and many other topics. At the end of the day participants worked hard to contribute to a national government consultation on the Bailey review.
During the day the regional figure for the number of Make Your Mark was announced – 35,980 young people in the region had been consulted on which issues were of greatest concern to themselves. Ten D/MYPs in the region collected over 1000 ballot papers from young people – an incredible achievement! Rahib Shabir from Bradford is seen being presented with his medal by BYC Trustee, Mita Desai. Rahib collected 6002 ballots- the second highest number of ballot papers in the UK.
The final Convention of the year will be held in Northallerton on December 8th.
For a full report click here
To view a short film of the event click here
Young people elected to the UK Youth Parliament and local Youth Councils hosted bus service providers, elected members and transport officials from across Yorkshire and Humber at a productive ‘Open Space’ style event at York CVS, 10am – 3pm Saturday 22nd September.
Transport was voted as the number one campaign priority after the debates at the House of Commons debates held last November, and the Members of the UK Youth Parliament were determined not just to call for better services, but to seriously work with everyone involved in buses to make services, cheaper, more accessible, reliable, safer, attractive to use and more convenient to pay for.
The purpose of the day was to hold a constructive dialogue where everyone’s opinions were heard, problems could be outlined and possible solutions explored. Fifty two people gave up their Saturday to this event which concluded with a series of specific follow up actions being agreed by a number of companies and youth councils across the region.
Everyone left the conference expressing positive comments about the day and it’s organisation by young people and youth workers. Geoff Lomax from Transdev Bus Company said: ‘It’s been an excellent day, very informative and we will consider many of the points raised at our Monday morning meeting.’ Emma Cowlam DMYP for Calderdale said: ‘I think it’s gone really well and it was good to hear all the bus service managers and young people talking respectively with each other.’
The event was organised by York Youth Council and the Youth Work Unit Y&H. Funding for the event was gained from an ‘Awards for All’ bid to the Big Lottery.
Currently young people are being encouraged to complete the UKYP and BYC ballot on what should be the key young people’s campaign areas for debate and then a decision at the annual House of Commons debate in November.
Over the weekend Hull held its annual musical event The Freedom Festival. The weather was hot and the town was buzzing and Tom, Evie and Wes, members of the UK Youth Parliament from Hull, saw the opportunity to go out and get some ballot papers filled in.
Between them, over the four hours that they were out they managed to fill in about 300.
Well done to them!
See the attached report which describes how young people have initiated and planned a campaign to offer young carers within the region a practical card to carry with them at school. The members of the UK Youth Parliament worked hard to persuade local authorities to establish their own schemes and pilot projects within their secondary schools. To date five authorities – Kirklees, Calderdale, York, Hull and Barnsley have pilot schemes within their schools and it is hoped that more authorities will follow suit this year.