I've been really pleased to get out and about across the county to visit lots of community youth clubs recently. I saw some amazing examples of high quality community projects in Somerset, for example Ansford Youth Club who link in with the local school, churches and businesses and have a close relationship with the Town Council. This kind of community engagement helps young people and the wider community to get to know each other and build strong relationships which benefit everyone.
One thing that I have noticed as I travel our county is that outside the few large towns, everywhere is very rural. This makes my journeys beautifully scenic (which I am grateful for!) but it presents significant challenges for young people and those who work with them. This is a factor which we are aware of and aim to support communities with wherever we can.
I'm looking forward to meeting lots more communities in the coming months.
Zara Scott-Davies - Youth & Community Officer
The Somerset Youth & Community Service is keen to make as many useful resources availble to community youth projects across the county. This forms part of our aim to support communities to provide good quality youth provision for thier young people.
A number of new developments are now live on this website - they include:
- Youth Club Young Volunteers which is aimed at older young people who are ready to move into a leadership role with the club and take on more responsibilities. It offers a series of workshops which can be used together as a structured programme or individual elements can be selected and delivered as needed to suit each group.
- Youth Councils Workshops - all the workshop plans and handouts etc. from the weekend residential which we ran in March with Youth Councils from across the county are now available to download.
- A Benchmark Scheme has been launched. This recognises the importance of youth provision being a good place for young people to go. The scheme covers the safety, sustainability and 'young people friendliness' of the club. The award is free and is valid for three years once it has been achieved.
Youth councils resi
Today, we are off on an adventure of a lifetime!!!
Ok, maybe not a lifetime, but definitely this month! After checking eveything six million times, we'll be loading up the cars with tonnes of resources and heading down to Osmington Bay PGL Adventure Centre for a weekend of fun, sun (!) and hard work with young people from 16 youth councils across Somerset.
There will be two activity sessions, four workshops, a disco, speed meeting and lots of action planning. The staff team are lovely and will be working even harder than the young people (if that's possible).
I'll be posting a review after the resi - so keep an eye on the youth councils pages.Kirstie Brown Senior Youth and Community Worker
Youth Councils Resi!
I went to the Somerset in Care Council (SiCC) and Somerset Leaving Care Council (SLCC) Steering group on Tuesday. The groups are really getting going, with training residentials, visits to forums, DVD production, posters, cards, meetings with the Corporate Parents Group and organising the Annual Achievement Awards. Phew! For more information, Contact Catherine Newberry (very helpful person - 07585 983356) who can tell you lots of things, including how any interested young person in or leaving care can get involved with the group.
Kirstie Brown - Senior Youth & Community Worker
I've just seen the Somerset Children's Trust first newsletter - it keeps members updated on what other relevant issues between meetings and this first ever issue features the UK Youth Parliament!! UKYP has long been a consultation group for the Children's Trust and its good to see their contribution being valued and promoted. Hurrah SCT!!!
Kirstie Browm - Senior Youth & Community Worker
Smoke Free Somerset
Smokefree Somerset Alliance are promoting grants of up to £2000 for young people to produce resources to encourage young people to stop (or not start) smoking
Click here for more information
What's extra good about this is the grant givers are also young people - the UK Youth Parliament (who already make grant decisions on Youth and Community Group Grants, Youth Bank and have been involved in commissioning) are adding this to their work programme. Well done them and well done the Smokefree Somerset Alliance!
Young People Volunteering
I feel hugely passionately about promoting self-confidence in our upcoming generation, by encouraging young people to engage more within their communities- through charity work and volunteering. Therefore I am running a campaign "Young volunteers- stronger communities"
For the next few months, I am working on researching into why young people do/do not volunteer! I am currently conducting HERE . So please do take a look! We plan to then develop a workshop to deliver in local schools and colleges to promote and inform young people on what they can do!
Young people do often get bad press, and by getting young people to engage in more positive contributions to their communities, will have a "win-win" effect. Young people will be helping others but also banishing any negative stereotypes people have of young people! Whilst also gaining valuable and necessary life skills! Our current curriculum does not have the capacity to allow young people the chance: to learn how to work in teams, to learn how to organise events, to learn how to manage money or manage their time and the list just goes on! This is something Youth Parliament feels very passionately about.
Youth Parliament's national devolved campaign this year is a "Curriculum for Life" This November, my fellow MYP's and I travelled to London to sit in the House of Commons and debate on what our national devolved and reserved campaigns would be. The Curriculum for Life campaign was hugely popular and gained enough votes to be the majority and got voted in as our National Campaign. I loved every minute of the experience. Words cannot describe how privileged I feel to have had the opportunity to represent the voices of young people in Somerset. The debates were exciting, inspiring and full of passion! We filled the House of Commons with enthusiasm and charisma and the quality of the debates and speakers were both phenomenal. I was immensely proud to be a part of it all.
I am proud to represent the views of young people in Somerset, and would like to say a huge thank you again to everyone who voted for me.
Contact me via twitter: @ellencollardmyp or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Disaffection in Young People
Sam Foulder-Huges recently made a speech to a local Rotary Club meeting about the disaffaction of young people, it is well worth a read. Thank you to Sam for sharing this excellent insight with us.