Engaging Young People

Young people engaging with Bucks Council

We often hear how important our young people are and that their voices matter, yet we do not see much evidence of this taking place. Action4Youth worked with the local government to provide young people with the opportunity to find out more about government logistics, how decisions are made and how their views and opinions could be heard about the environment in which they live.

Buckinghamshire Council attended an Inspiration Programme session and worked with the young people to facilitate their running of their own council meeting with government decision makers present. This empowered the young people, and influenced their learning and career choices.

The young people were able to learn and practise skills for debating, interview techniques, personal presentation, sharing their views personally and collectively, and overall emphasising the importance of making those views heard.

The session was attended by the Council’s Chair, Vice Chair and cabinet members as well as members of the Corporate Management Team. All in attendance were eager to hear from the young people fostering a positive, thoughtful and uncompromising culture. This made the process open and safe for the young people to feel they were important.

It was instantly clear to see the strengthened links between youth and council decision makers which inspired the young people to take further action in matters that influence their future.

Using the skills developed during these sessions a team of young people shared their opinion on another topic and used their voice to make a positive change. Action4Youth were facilitating an activity in a local town around a skate park, the young people were complaining about repairs that were needed and the fact that for years they had heard rumours that the skate park was going to be modernised.

The team facilitated a meeting with the town council in the skate park, to discuss the areas which needed improving. The young people, with support, then wrote a letter to councillors and local government. Within days those young people saw repairs carried out and now they are being asked to sit on a user group as the skate park is being modernised.

An excellent example of work by the council in realising the importance of that facility and listening to the young people.

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