A scheme dedicated to involving young people in local issues which affect them is back and East Suffolk Council wants as many youngsters as possible to get involved and to help make a real difference.
East Suffolk Council’s ‘Youth Voice’ service is designed to make it easier than ever for young people to share their thoughts and to see how these opinions can help shape their communities.
A new webpage has been created with a simple form for young people to have their say and it will also be widely promoted in schools and via social media – including a dedicated Instagram account. This will be alongside Youth Voice ‘collection boxes’ which have previously been placed in a variety of locations and used successfully to develop new ideas.
Any information which is provided is then shared with organisations and key decision makers who can help address the issues raised and help make a real difference, such as local councillors, East Suffolk Community Partnerships, Suffolk Police and other key partners.
Cllr Letitia Smith, East Suffolk Council’s cabinet member for Communities, Leisure and Tourism, said: “We want to hear what young people in East Suffolk think and we want to ensure their opinions are not only being heard but acted upon in a meaningful way.
“Youth Voice encourages young people to think about what is important to them and their local areas and it helps drive real changes as their opinions will be shared with key decision makers who can help turn their words in actions.
“With the new webpage, Youth Voice has never been more accessible, enabling everyone to share their thoughts, whether in person through one of our ‘Youth Voice collection boxes’ or online via desktop, tablet or phone.
Real changes have been made previously thanks to Youth Voice, as Cllr Smith also explains:
“Around East Suffolk, Youth Voice has already made a difference. Work was carried out in an underpass to make it safer after young people raised concerns; we have also seen the replacement of basketball nets on a local court and supportive information provided by partner organisations on where to access contraception or concerns about safety while walking home from school in winter.
“This time, we hope to get a big response from young people and to help them to make changes that genuinely benefit them.”
So, if you’re aged between 11 and 24, make sure your voice is heard! It is quick and easy to share your thoughts online by filling out a short form. And remember to follow ‘eastsuffolkyouthvoice’ on Instagram to see how your feedback is helping to make real changes in local communities.
East Suffolk Council is currently contacting sites, such as schools and youth clubs, which had ‘Youth Voice collection boxes’ installed prior to the pandemic to encourage them to reinstall these as the service relaunches.