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21/01/2015
YOT / TYS listens to young people

I'm off to Dillington tomorrow to deliver a days training to YOT / TYS staff. YOT / TYS are improving their ability to listen to the voice of the young people who use their service by setting up Voice Groups across the county. Young people will have opportunities to start their own projects, feedback to decision makers about the service they receive and help YOY / TYS improve what they do with young people. If you want to know more, have a chat with Wendy Jenner on 01458 440280.

If you are an organisation who'd like to improve the waysit hears young people's views, we may be able to help with free advice and bespoke training. Give me a ring for a chat.

Kirstie Brown
Youth and Community Officer
01823 349853

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21/01/2015
UK Youth Parliament Training Residential 20 - 22 March 2015

We have our final list of young people attending the UK Youth Parliament Residential. All of the MYP and Deputies elect are going as well as lots of members of the Advisory Group. Unfortuately, the date didn't suit everyone (exams and family stuff) but we still have 19 young people coming along!

We're going to Liddington near Swindon for a weekend of fun, workshops and manifesto planning. The last one we did was in October 2013 and was the best residential Kate and I had ever worked on - so this one has a lot to live up to! Kate, Angela and I will be running the weekend, with Jeff dropping in to do night duty. So... We're expecting a great weekend and we'll blog about how it went when we get back.

Huzzah for the UK Youth Parliament!

Kirstie Brown
Youth and Community Officer
01823 349853

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14/01/2015
Coming Soon! Free Resource on Healthy Relationships

Cat King, Member of the Youth Parliament for South Somerset, has produced an excellent resource aimed at helping young people to have better relationships. Called 'Healthy Relationships', this book contains six sessions for young people of all ages and includes posters, links to YouTube films, games and other activities. Cat worked with Fixers UK to produce this very professional resource, suitable for use in schools, colleges and youth clubs.

The best news of all is that we have free copies of this resource to give away! Give me a ring or drop me an email via the 'contact' part of the website and we'll put one in the post to you. 

Kirstie Brown
Youth and Community Officer
01823 349853

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14/01/2015
Mendip YMCA Volunteer Training

This Saturday coming (17th January) I am off to Mendip YMCA in Wells to deliver an 'Introduction to Youth Work' training day for their new youth work volunteers. Mendip YMCA runs youth clubs in Frome, Coleford, Shepton Mallet, Street and Glastonbury. All volunteers are support by Glenda Collier (their Volunteer Co-oridnator) and Mark Willcox (their Youth and Community Development Manager). Its a great organisation to volunteer for, with lots of opportunities across their wide range of work with young people. If you're interested in volunteering for Mendip YMCA, give Glenda a ring on 01749 679553.

Kirstie Brown
Youth and Community Officer
01823 349853

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16/12/2014
UK Youth Parliament Elections

Wow! What a day! Young people came from all over Somerset to elect the new members of the UK Youth Parliament. Somerset now has three seats (one for Mendip and Sedgemoor, one for South Somerset and one for West Somerset and Taunton Deane) and the Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) and their deputies elected on Saturday will spend a couple of months shadowing the current MYPs and Deputies and doing training. They will officially take up office on 1st March 2015.

The election results were as follows:
  • Mendip and Sedgemoor: Member Chelsea White, Deputy Mimi Astle
  • South Somerset: Member Jessica Hill, Deputy Callum Mooney
  • West Somerset and Taunton Deane: Member Kira Lewis, Deputy Edward St George

Have a look on the UKYP pages for some photos from the day. The next thing for the Members-in-waiting to do is to meet the current MYPs,Deputies and Advisory Group members at the next UK Youth Parliament Advisory meeting on 11 January 2015, before a training residential at the end of January.

A quick word about all the young people who stood, but didn't get elected. If people weren't willing to take a risk put themselves forward, we wouldn't have had an election. There were so many great speeches and great young people who didn't get elected. We were lucky because alot of these young people have said they'd like to join the advisory group, so we should have a very energetic and large Advisory Group meeting in January.

Please contact me if you'd like more information.

Kirstie Brown
Youth and Community Officer
Somerset Youth and Community Service
Holway Centre, Byron Road, Taunton. TA1 2JD.
Telephone: 01823 349853  / 07899 700170

 

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08/12/2014
UK Youth Parliament Meeting

I spent yesterday with the Somerset UK Youth Parliament Advisory Group at their December meeting. The young people had a busy day following up on-going work and activities and assessing lots of Youth Bank grant applications.

During the afternoon Ellen Collard (MYP for Taunton Deane and West Somerset) carried out an activity with the rest of the group to support her Extended Project Qualification. For her project, Ellen is looking at the Liverpool Care Pathway and the impact of media coverage on the perception of it. Ellen used two different articles about the Care Pathway; one very factual and the other more sensationalised and emotive to gauge the groups perception of the topic. Ellen particularly wanted to look at this topic with a group of young people as it was likely that they would not have heard of the Liverpool Care Pathway and would therefore not have existing opinions on the topic.

Ellen conducted the activity brilliantly, she was clear about what would happen and what was required from participants. Ellen showed great skill in adapting the way she worked and how the activity was formatted as she went along to get the most from the activity.

I can't wait to hear more from Ellen about how her finished project turns out.

Angela Derry
Project Support Officer - Youth & Community

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02/12/2014
D of E Coordinator

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This week we are very happy to welcome Helen Watkins back into the team. Helen previously worked as D of E Coordinator for a number of years and was an extremely popular and valued member of the team so we are all delighted that we have managed to tempt her back into the fold!

Helen arrived to find celebratory balloons decorating her office space...but probably didn't realise that she would be expected to take them home with her. Welcome back Helen.

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01/12/2014
Ilminster Youth Group

A group of volunteers in Ilminster will be starting a new under-14s youth clubs after Christmas.  The team are doing some training at the moment but are very excited about opening the new club. They hope to be doing lots of proactive activities and have already started recruiting.  

Zara Scott-Davies
Youth & Community Officer 

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01/12/2014
Herd Mentality

The chaos of the 'Black Friday' sales prompted some interesting conversation in the office this morning.  Black Friday is a fairly new event in the UK, but it seems to have been approached with the same enthusiasm (and craziness!) as the US.  Scenes of people trampling each other and fighting over bargains have been reported from all over the country, with the Police having to step in to restore order in several cases. (Click here to see a BBC News story)

The main question that came up for us has been "What were they thinking?".  It's hard to believe that people would make a conscious decision to act in such an aggressive way just to save a few pounds on a TV, but research has shown that a person's behaviour can change radically once they are part of a group.  This phenomenom is often know as 'herd mentality' and can also be seen in riot situations etc.  A study at Leeds University has shown that the behaviour of a crowd can be influences by as few as 5% of its members. (Click here for an article about this)

It is important to remember that the effects of 'herd mentality' are not always negative.  There have been many instances where groups of people come together to help others.  In cases such as the 7/7 bombings in London, huge numbers of people spontaniously worked together to help victims.

Angela Derry
Project Support Officer - Youth & Community 

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28/11/2014
Curry Rivel

Congratulations to Curry Rivel who opened their youth club in September.  The club has over 20 young people attending and is growing each week.  The club has lots of local support and is engaging in a range of community activities during the build up to Christmas.  I look forward to hearing more from this club in future!

Zara Scott-Davies
Youth & Community Officer 

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