Suffolk Coastal District Council held the first youth conference in 2018 to explore the idea of a district wide youth council. Waveney District Council already had a very successful youth council, but the barrier of replicating this in Suffolk Coastal was the distance between schools, so we created ‘Youth Voice’. To bring the issues and concerns of young people to a council level, we supplied schools and youth settings with a suggestion box to submit their topics and concerns.
Collected termly, we collated the data of the slips into a local report. The reports were distributed to organisations and key decision makers that have the power to make a difference. Suffolk Coastal and Waveney District
Council joined to become East Suffolk Council in April 2019. This isn't the only change. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, we are now unable to visit schools to collect their youth voice slips.
Young people will now be able to virtually submit their youth voice slips. Again, once a term we will use the responses to write and distribute a report for the local area. We want to hear what topics and concerns you have in your local area, that we can help influence real change. To have your say, view previous reports and get updates from our blog, visit the East Suffolk Youth Voice website. We suggest to teachers that this tool could be used in student councils and pastoral sessions. Youth club leaders may also want to encourage their young people to use the website in there sessions.
The reports will continue to be shared with key decision makers who can help to address your concerns. These may include District and County Councillors, Community Partnerships, Suffolk Police, Suffolk Highways, Suffolk Norse, and the local Clinical Commissioning Group to name a few. All the actions and updates will then be included in the following report so you know how your views have been listened and responded to.