Do something amazing – for someone amazing – #Nominateyouth

Do something amazing – for someone amazing – #Nominateyouth

Blogs, Democracy, 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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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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