The Youth Participation Charter 2006 – Not just heard.

The Youth Participation Charter 2006 – Not just heard.

Blogs, Quality Youth Voice, Young Voices Heard, Youth Social Action
“While consultation is important, participation in its truest sense gives children and young people an active involvement in planning, decision-making and subsequent evaluation” The Participation Charter, 2006 Is it time to revisit and revive this Charter? Has it stood the test of time? 'The Participation Charter 2006' set out a vision and ways to give youth voice a hearing? Is that enough in 2020? How can we collaborate with young leaders, listening to, working with and investing in participation and leadership to refreshed a vision? Whilst not the earliest youth voice charter we've come across, this 'Participation Charter' was published by Children Young People Now magazine on 6th June 2006*, in association with the Participation Works Consortium**.  James Cathcart, former CEO of The British Youth Council one of the Consortium…
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#PupilVoice and Covid19

#PupilVoice and Covid19

Blogs, Youth Social Action
During a summer of covid-related challenges for the education sector students views were increasingly reported by the media to a wider audience than is usual.  The exam results announcements are traditionally a time when cameras and microphones are poised to capture the reaction of pupils. This year the 'algorithm' produced such a range of results and young people were on hand - shocked and disbelieving. This turned to questioning and challenging politicians to respond, and in some places backed with street protests. When the politicians announced a change of policy, at least one education minister acknowledged the influential role of students who had contacted him.  What can we learn from this experience about how youthvoice can be better empowered and amplified in a way that has agency and impact? It…
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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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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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#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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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 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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“From volunteer to Chief Executive – an unexpected journey”

“From volunteer to Chief Executive – an unexpected journey”

Blogs, Youth Social Action
Founder of Young Voices Heard, James Cathcart, reflects on his personal journey from volunteer to Chief Executive, highlighting his value of  volunteering and volunteers throughout his career. [First written for young volunteers on World Youth Skills Day 15th July 2017 (and conference presentation) and updated for International Volunteers Day 5th Dec 2017] "My life and career was shaped by an early decision to volunteer, starting with short-term trips with the International Voluntary Service and followed by  a full-time role on a one year  placement with Community Service Volunteers. I had originally intended to be a journalist, but my volunteering interests during a period of unemployment, became the foundation of my subsequent career choices in the voluntary sector working with children and young people. This article explores that journey, sharing lessons…
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