The Weston super Mare Youth Council are now recruiting new members to join them in giving local young people a voice.
Weston-super-Mare Youth Council enables young people aged 11-18 who either live or attend school in Weston-super-Mare to have a voice and represent their views and the views of their peers on subjects that matter to young people. Youth Councillors are encouraged to use their energy to affect change in a way that they believe in and build their confidence and capability as a group and as individuals.
Youth Council meetings have been held virtually over the last few months, with the group adapting their monthly meetings to meet online rather than at YMCA Weston.
Olivia Finch, Vice-Chair of the Weston super Mare Youth Council said: “I’ve been a member of the Weston Youth Council for three years now and it has helped me gain a lot of new skills. On the one hand, I’ve learnt how to run meetings and write agendas. Then on the other hand, it has given me more of an insight into the local community and the knowledge that as youths if we strive to make a change we can!
“If we don’t voice our opinions and take action on our beliefs then nothing will be done, so if you want to make a change then your first step in doing so would be to join the Youth Council and have your say!”
Weston-super-Mare Youth Council is managed by YMCA Dulverton Group from YMCA Weston-super-Mare and is supported by Weston Town Council.
Alli Waller, Senior Lead Youth Worker at YMCA Dulverton Group explained: “Being part of the Weston Youth Council is a great way for young people to grow their skills and have a say in matters that affect them.
“I enjoy working alongside the group, seeing their enthusiasm and passion for their town and believe that this is a fantastic opportunity for young people to take part in.”
The Youth Council was established by the Town Council in 2000 and over the years has had some high profile successes including being an essential part of providing facilities for young people such as Barcode Youth Café and Hutton Moor Skate Park; as well as distributing grant funding to organisations working with young people and other charities.
Malcolm Nicholson Town Clerk said: “Just recently we have seen how powerful young people’s voices can be. We value our young people in our area and want their voices heard in the running of our town.”
Young people involved in the Youth Council can expect to gain experience of decision-making and planning, learn about the democratic process, improve their advocacy, communication and teamwork skills and have the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their local community. Experience with the Youth Council has also proved beneficial in supporting young people in their applications to Higher Education and employment.
Anyone interested in joining the Youth Council should get in touch via email to: Alli.Waller@ymca-dg.org