#Iwillweek2019:                Young Ambassadors are stepping up to lead.            ‘Yes you can, together #wewill’

#Iwillweek2019: Young Ambassadors are stepping up to lead. ‘Yes you can, together #wewill’

#GE19 & Campaigns, Youth Social Action
#Iwillweek2019 is celebrating the #powerofyouth. In recognition of the work of the 7 years work of the #iwill “Young Ambassadors", James Cathcart says THANKYOU and makes the case for the network to continue long into the future, led by its graduates and with support of it champions - #Wewilltogether! Too often young people are told "No You Cant - to which our collective response will be: "Yes You Can! Together We will" I’m a big fan of the #iwill Ambassadors programme and to everyone of you, past and present, I say a BIG THANKYOU for your service! Ever since the time I remember accompanying some of our young leaders from the British Youth Council to join the first group of ‘ambassadors’ who had been nominated by lots of different youth…
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Election 19 #YouthVoice Manifesto – Nothing about us      Without us

Election 19 #YouthVoice Manifesto – Nothing about us Without us

#GE19 & Campaigns, Blogs, Democracy, Young Voices Heard
Its been two years since I posted my last 'General Election Call To Action’ and a ‘Youth-Voice Agenda’ to highlight youth people's concerns and campaigns, especially those who could not vote.* I followed up with an open letter to the Prime Minister and Party Leaders calling on them to 'talk to young people not about them' – both during and after campaigns – and to consider introducing a series of reforms that would prioritise youth issues and embed meaningful #youthvoice and #participation in our democracy going forward**. Here is my updated open call for this election – “An Advocate’s Youth Manifesto” – inspired by the #youthvoice movement, from individual campaigners to national consultations like the amazing Make Your Mark Ballots of recent years organised by the UK Youth Parliament, the…
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Election 2019 – #Youthpower

Election 2019 – #Youthpower

#GE19 & Campaigns, Blogs, Democracy
"Too young to vote, but not too young to be heard by those that do." By James Cathcart, first published in 'Children Young People Now' | 09 November 2019 | At some point during the election campaign commentators and parties will focus on policies relating to children and young people, such as education and knife crime and will also target the 18-24 youth vote with promises around employment, housing and debt, and of course, Brexit. However, there is another influential group, whose agenda is usually ignored by the mainstream media and public opinion in the run up to elections, but whose influence should not be underestimated in voting households since the last election - children and young people under 18. While too young to vote they are not too young…
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Youth Voice, Direct Action and Greta

Youth Voice, Direct Action and Greta

Blogs, Young Voices Heard, Youth Social Action
Youth Voice, Direct Action and Greta | Stepping up to serve, or stepping out to protest? Youth participation in direct action protest is taking youth voice social action to the next level.  This article explores the challenges and opportunities of 'direct action' for campaigners who struggle to be heard. Greta Thunberg, the young climate change campaigned is not interested in being 'tomorrows leader today', nor does she want to be 'part of the solution'. Instead she is demonstrating the power of independent youth-led protest to amplify #youthvoice to power. Action to get action "Youth Voice in an empty room is but an echo. You need to be heard by the relevant decision-makers, to even stand a chance of making an impact, but being seen to be heard can raise awareness…
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Youth Charter 2019 – Youth Minister 2020

Youth Charter 2019 – Youth Minister 2020

Blogs, Democracy, Young Voices Heard
Youth Charter pending?  Youth Minister overdue! Have the stars aligned, at last, to create the conditions for a meaningful dialogue between youth sector stakeholders and decision-makers, resulting in a higher profile for youth policy development and a lead from Government? Following the ‘Serious Youth Violence Summit’ in early April 2019, the Government announced that it would be working with the youth sector in the coming months, to produce a Youth Charter that will “set out a vision for young people for the next generation and beyond”. The Government repeated its commitment to “giving young people a strong* voice on issues they care about” (first set out in last years Civil Society Strategy, DCMS). Sports and Civil Society Minister [with responsibility for that departments youth policy but its a stretch to…
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Youth Work Matters 2018

Youth Work Matters 2018

Blogs, Young Voices Heard
To mark 'Youth Work' Week, on the eve of the Youth Parliament Commons debate, James Cathcart reflects on his early experiences of being a youth worker in the 1980s, what 'youth work' is, and why it matters so much today. "I started out my career as a youth worker and am still proud to fly the Youth Work flag when and where I can. (more…)
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UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot TOP 10 campaigns 2018, reviewed

UK Youth Parliament’s ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot TOP 10 campaigns 2018, reviewed

Blogs, Democracy, Young Voices Heard
The UK Youth Parliament #MAKEYOURMARK ballot is published (header photo), and the polls are open. Anyone aged 11-18 in the UK can now vote for their priority campaign until 10th October through their local school/youth council/online. In recent years young volunteers have mobilised nearly a million of their peers to vote across the U.K. making it the largest consultation of young people in the country if not Europe. The annual debate of the five of these campaigns by the Youth Parliament in the House of Commons, was one of the highlights of my year when I was at The British Youth Council, but its the results of the popular vote that is a fascinating, sometimes surprising and even ahead of the curve the Westminster bubble. It's what matters to next…
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Youth Social Action: “Listen To Us”

Youth Social Action: “Listen To Us”

Blogs, Young Voices Heard, Youth Social Action
Youth Social Action Campaign -  #iwill Pledge update 2018, Voices Heard, Action taken, Difference made. I'm proud to still be backing the #iwill social action campaign to make ‘youth social action’ part of life for 10-20 year-olds in the UK, particularly calling on all stakeholders to demonstrate how they are truly youth-led as enshrined in the core principles of the campaign.  Research indicated that whilst 4 in 10 young people are already engaged in ‘meaningful’ regular volunteering, many more would be if they had the opportunities or were empowered to do so. So lets listen to them about how best to do that, address the challenges they face to make it easier, and celebrate their youth-led successes and supporters who help them. (more…)
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Votes at 16: House of Commons Vote?

Votes at 16: House of Commons Vote?

Democracy
How would MPs vote if there were a free vote this session? 'Votes at 16 - Are we ready, willing and able?' is a question not just for young people, but for MPs and society. In this Paper, first published on 27/03/18 the author asks 'Are we about to enter a new age for democracy? Is that ‘age’ to be sixteen and will it be more than about voting, and encompass a broader agenda of democratic dialogue between young people and politicians?"  Reviewing 'what's new' and exploring 'what's needed' in the Votes at 16 debate going forward this Paper was first presented to the UK Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff, March 2018 and a referenced copy is available on request, ahead of publication. It is shared here in advance…
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Votes at 16 : All-Party Parliamentary Group 2018

Votes at 16 : All-Party Parliamentary Group 2018

Blogs, Democracy, Young Voices Heard
Is now the time for a new parliamentary body, such as an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), to enable cross-party dialogue to explore consensus on lowering the voting age to 16 with measures to sustain it?  Votes at 16 for all elections is achievable but not inevitable. It is such an important constitutional change it demands a great political and public consensus to be sustainable [lesson learnt from Brexit].  This article explores why and ways to move forward. (more…)
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