Our YMCA Youth Council continues to go from strength to strength. After their successful trip to Parliament, 8 members of the Youth Council met again to discuss their priorities and actions to bring about positive change.
Our Youth Council was only created in June this year and they’ve already visited the Houses of Parliament and taken part in a debate, spent the day with local MP Peter Kyle, and began to impact the way things happen at YMCA DownsLink Group. One of our top priorities in our new 2023-26 strategy (click here to read) is to amplify youth voice and leadership. We want to put young people at the heart of our organisation and the Youth Council is a great platform for our young people to take social action and influence change.
In their recent meeting, members of the Youth Council discussed the actions that had been taken since the last event and agreed that certain issues had been resolved. Their priorities going forward were to focus on maintenance matters, wifi access and overnight stays, and actions have been agreed on with both staff members and the Youth Council to make this happen.
The group also discussed wanting to hear from guest speakers, such as ex-residents or people who had been through a similar experience to them. They were also interested in hearing from local campaigners, politicians and celebrities who work to bring about positive changes in society. If you, or anyone you know would be interested in speaking to our Youth Council, please click here to get in touch.
The meeting finished with a workshop discussion on ‘what a positive future looks like’. The group spoke about mental health, community engagement, work and stability. The Youth Council also discussed the barriers to these things, highlighting stigma, discrimination, lack of skills or opportunities, financial struggles and poor mental health. To overcome these barriers, they hope to educate employers about vulnerable people, get involved in their local communities, potentially set up a peer support scheme and continue to learn important life skills.
It’s inspiring to see the Youth Council’s dedication to making a difference in their lives and the lives of their fellow residents who they are representing. They are a great reminder of the power of youth voice and how important it is to give young people a platform for positive change.