Young people praised for their participation in local democracy
23 Feb 2017
A group of young people from across Northumberland were praised at a recent Northumberland County Council Health and Wellbeing Board, for their role in the work carried out to raise the voices of young people within the county.
The Children and Young People’s Strategic Participation Group was developed under the guidance of Cynthia Atkin, Chair of Healthwatch, following engagement with young people and listening to their interest to help shape the development of health and social care services.
The Participation Group is made up of engagement officers from different services working closely with a wide range of young people across Northumberland. The group was tasked to develop a strategic and workable framework for all partners to follow, ensuring the opinions of young people are heard and fed through to key decision makers, along with allowing responses and action to be passed back to the young people. The group is the key link between all parties engaging with and working for and on behalf of young people and the key decision makers.
Recently, the Participation Group was involved in the national Make Your Mark ballot. The campaign involved the Participation Group consulting with 7,000 young people across Northumberland, asking them to vote on the issues that they think Members of the Youth Parliament should campaign on for the year ahead.
As a result of the development of the Children’s and Young People’s Strategic Participation Group, the Northumberland Youth Service and Youth Parliament were recently asked to host the Holocaust Memorial Day event which took place in County Hall.
Cynthia Atkin, Chair of Healthwatch, said: “ The Northumberland Youth Service has demonstrated fantastic support in developing the Young People’s Strategic Participation Group which has delivered some fantastic results, the framework that has been developed allows a clear channel of communication to ensure the opinions of young people are listened to by the key decision makers. The voice of young people is very important when developing health and wellbeing services as they are the future of our local area.”
Councillor Scott Dickinson said: “Working with young people and ensuring they are given the opportunity to voice their opinions is vital. Young people are the next generation of voters and it is important that they realise their opinions matter and will help towards shaping their future.”