Youth Participation Quality Mark Project: 2020

Youth Participation Quality Mark Project: 2020

Blogs, Young Voices Heard
Having a 'Youth Participation Quality Mark' is one way to indicate that #youthvoice is being heard AND making a difference to your organisation. Having certification, or an award, will indicate the degree to which youth-participation is a) 'taking place', ranging from consultation to participation in decision-making and scrutiny, and  b)'meaningful and fit for purpose'  "Register your interest and feedback to info@youngvoicesheard.org.uk with your name/role/org recommending good practice examples and sharing a #youthvoice view for what quality looks like". That's why Young Voices Heard is launching a Quality Assurance project that will lead to a new set national standards for engagement, participation and impact. Working with a network of independent young advisors, including #iwill ambassadors, #democracychampions and #youthparticipation specialists, we intend to research and review the traditional existing benchmarks, to produce…
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The Challenge of Youth Power: From silent-service to youth-voice leading

The Challenge of Youth Power: From silent-service to youth-voice leading

Blogs, Young Voices Heard, Youth Social Action
At the start of its seventh and final year the Step Up To Serve's (SUTS) #iwill campaign has launched a "Power of Youth Challenge 2020" to organisations, decision makers and young people to come together and get involved in a year-long set of activities that will champion youth voice, action and leadership in the #iwill network across the UK. Everyone, including young people, are invited to not only see, hear and value youth voice and leadership, but to signup to promote and grow it. The 'Challenge' also represents a strategic call to the youth sector organisations, decision makers and young people to continue to work together into the future to ensure our collective advances are not lost' as the SUTS charity prepares to close at the end of 2020. (more…)
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Votes at 16: Parked, paused, what next?

Votes at 16: Parked, paused, what next?

Democracy, Young Voices Heard
Votes at 16: 2020, What next for this long-running campaign?  ‘Votes at 16’ no longer commands the support of a majority of MPs in the new Parliament.  Yes - Wales has joined Scotland in lowering the local voting age locally, but are General Election campaigners facing five years 'parked' in Parliament? Are young people in this age group now prioritising action on climate change, mental health and knife-crime over the right to vote? After all, Greta Thunberg has shown that even if you are too young to vote you are not too young to be heard by those that do. Stakeholders, supporters and funders are focusing on investment in social action campaigning and renewed youth services all year round, rather than empowerment through voting tomorrow. Invited by the Leverhulme Trust…
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Do something amazing – for someone amazing – #Nominateyouth

Do something amazing – for someone amazing – #Nominateyouth

Blogs, Democracy, Recognition, Young Voices Heard, Youth Social Action
Its been a New Years Honour for an increasing number of 'young' changemakers like Mete Coban MBE (pictured), as more, and even younger people, are being successfully nominated for New Year's or Queens Birthday Honours. This blog highlights some who have been recognised for their youth leadership and campaigning work as young-led social action shows increasing signs of becoming a self-sustaining movement, as more of its young flagbearers are being recognised nationally. Valuing Recognition Since 2018 Young Voices Heard have been making new year resolutions. One of these 'To nominate more youthvoice projects and their champions for awards and recognition, locally and nationally' is one way to ensure that youth-led social action, in all its forms, is recognised. It is relatively easy for anyone to take the time to put…
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How do we refresh democracy for young people?

How do we refresh democracy for young people?

#GE19 & Campaigns, Blogs, Democracy
   'They don't appear to know what they're doing in Westminster' first time voter , Croydon.                  The 5th of December was #DemocracyDay when 'Young Voices Heard' joined twenty other organisations calling for a range of measures to address disenchantment with democracy (1).         The day was coordinated by the Electoral Reform Society who commissioned a mini-poll (2) from BMG Research on the attitudes of the electorate on how well politics is working and whether they felt they could  influence on decision-makers. When asked to describe their opinion on how politics is working 82% of 18-24 year-olds agreed that it needs improving and 68%  felt that they do not have very much/no influence over decision-makers in the country as a…
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#YouthVoiceNow: Interview  with Anna McGovern (18)        #iwill Ambassador and Chair of Medway Youth Council

#YouthVoiceNow: Interview with Anna McGovern (18) #iwill Ambassador and Chair of Medway Youth Council

Blogs, Young Voices Heard
by James Cathcart, 20th November 2019   Anna is an #iwill Ambassador - one of a group of young activists successfully nominated in recognition of their outstanding volunteering work. She is now a role model and ambassador for the national ‘Step Up To Serve’ campaign -  which aims to increase youth ‘social action’ and celebrate the role of young people as active citizens. Anna has campaigned on safeguarding for children/on-line safety and better mental health, with NSPCC and Childline, and has been recognised with awards included the Prime Ministers Point of Light Award for her work. As part of national #iwillweek2019 I met Anna, in her role as Chair when she was hosting the Medway Youth Council’s annual conference on climate change. It was held at Mid Kent College in Chatham…
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#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’

Blogs, 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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