The Importance of Young People’s Voices

Success4All was invited to attend a council chambers meeting on September 11th 2013. The meeting was a time for the city’s Youth Council to challenge City Councillors to look at Newcastle through the eyes of young people.

There are 28 elected members of the youth council; they worked together for months to produce a report reflecting the views of young people all across the city of Newcastle. The report explored five key themes which were; life skills acquired on leaving school, things to do and places to go, the impact of drinking and nightlight, opportunities in work, education and training, and the influence of young people on decision-making. The members of the Youth Council ended the report with recommendations hoping for them to go forward in the council’s youth agenda and create a better relationship between the council and Newcastle’s youths.

Success4All staff members were extremely pleased to be invited to such an interesting event. We believe that ‘Young People Learn from Each Other’ so it was brilliant to attend a meeting where young people on the Youth Council had learnt from the young people of Newcastle and created a report from it.

Two Success4All staff members attended, as well as one young volunteer and two children who attend our learning hubs. The whole audience was encouraged to voice their opinions; however importantly the children that were there were given the most opportunity to speak. The children of Success4All not only got their voices heard, but gained an experience that they had never had before, it really made them think about their young lives in Newcastle, and opened up their eyes to others views as well.

The children thoroughly enjoyed the outing, were extremely happy that they got to speak, and were left eager to do something like it again. The message the meeting was aiming to get across was that we have to ensure that children are valued, empowered and included in decision making.

We strongly believe this at Success4All, young people are brought together in our learning hubs to work together; they are not a classroom, but a place children feel like they can join with their needs, which we then aim to meet.

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