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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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28/11/2014
Election Frenzy!

The team here at Somerset Youth & Community Service are getting stuck into the preparations for the UK Youth Parliament Selection Day and elections on Saturday 13th December at Bridgwater College.  The next couple of weeks will be a frenzy of planning, preparation and a fair bit of photocopying!  We've also been learning about different voting methods and after always using 'first past the post' before, we're planning to try something new this time!

The current Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) are coming to the end of their two-year term of office and are looking forward to handing over to their successors.  This incredible group of young people have achieved an enormous amount during their time as the elected representatives of young people in Somerset, visit the UKYP web pages to find out more.

More than 60 young people have nominated themselves for the Selection Day so we are looking forward to a lively election.  We will be welcoming three new MYPs at the end of the day - representing South Somerset; Taunton Deane & West Somerset and Sedgmoor & Mendip areas.

If you would like to know more about the Somerset UKYP Selection Day speak to a member of the team on 01823 349852 or explore the elections web page. 

Angela Derry
Project Support Officer - Youth & Community

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24/11/2014
Ansford and Castle Cary

Youth Matters are due to have their AGM on Tuesday 2nd December at the Shambles in Ansford.  The club has gone from strength to strength this year, helped enormously by the community support it receives from the school, churches, local councils, businesses and local volunteers.  This club is a really good model of the community all working together to benefit young people.

Zara Scott-Davies
Youth & Community Officer 

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19/11/2014
Norton Fitzwarren

I recently visited the lovely youth club in Norton Fitzwarren.  The club is run by a steering group of volunteers who are keen for the club to grow, the club has had a refurbishment just before the summer so is looking great.  Norton Fitzwarren Youth Club plan to do a big re-launch in the New Year - watch this space for the date when it's announced!

Zara Scott-Davies
Youth & Community Officer 

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19/11/2014
Ilchester Bus Shelter

Young peopler from the Ilchester Youth Club have produced some panels to decorate a local bus shelter.  The Parish Council will be installing the panels in the near future soon so they will be brightening up the community very soon!

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