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Young people - prepare to be excited!

March 31, 2021 4:03 PM

Having got rid of all the useful youthful stuff such as youth workers, Wiltshire Council is now trying to replace it with a talking shop.

The "Child and Youth Voice Team" has been launched by the outgoing administration as a pre-election gimmick.

The team will, "engage with children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds from a variety of youth groups across the county, including children in care, asylum seeking children, children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and other young people that are being supported by statutory services."

It will also, "develop and strengthen Wiltshire's Youth Union, which is a group of young people that is led by three Members of Youth Parliament. The Youth Union is responsible for getting feedback from other child and youth forums and making sure that these views are heard and shared with the relevant people making decisions. Wiltshire Youth Union is seeking to recruit new youth members from every secondary school and a variety of community settings that represent young people from various backgrounds, e.g. from black or minority ethnic groups, from LGBTQ+ communities, from armed forces families or those who are young carers."

Most exciting of all will be this: "Young people will attend themed meetings with council leaders and other decision makers that can implement change locally to discuss issues that are important to them, such as health and the environment." Note you've been told what's important to you, not asked.

The team will also be setting up a new Voice Academy, which will offer training sessions to young people enabling them to learn new skills such as interview efficiency and how to give presentations effectively.

Alex, the chair of Wiltshire's Children in Care Council (CICC) said: "I'm excited for the ideas that the new team will bring to the CICC. It is the new drive we needed to get our voices heard."

Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director for People at Wiltshire Council said: "Listening to the views of children and young people is a priority for us and we are passionate about ensuring that these are acted upon in a meaningful way.

"The Child and Youth Voice Team is an exciting development and will be a mechanism for all children and young people in Wiltshire to connect with local leaders and have a say about the issues that are important to them. I am looking forward to hearing more from our young people in Wiltshire"

The bits in italics are quotes from the WC press release