Young people from across Cornwall have come together at New County Hall in Truro to celebrate the launch of the Youth Council, a joint project between Cornwall Council and Action for Children.
They were joined by councillors and the Cornish Members of Youth Parliament for a day of talks, workshops and information sessions at the weekend.
The Youth Council, supported by Action for Children, brings together the five Cornish Members of the Youth Parliament with an enthusiastic group of other young people from across Cornwall.
During the event they organised themselves into four subcommittees focusing on their priorities:
- Transport – improving opportunities travel to work and meet friends by making public transport more appealing
- Jobs, Money, Homes and opportunities – helping young people with life skills and helping them to stay in Cornwall
- Promoting Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – making sure that young people with SEND and ASD have a voice
- Changing access to Youth Voice opportunities – making youth voice more available and accessible to young people in Cornwall
With a fifth of Cornwall’s population under 18 years old one of Cornwall Council’s key priority outcomes is for Cornwall to be a brilliant place to be a child and grow up.
Portfolio Holder for Children and Families, Barbara Ellenbroek, said: “The energy at New County Hall was fantastic and it was great to see so many young people enthused and eager to get involved in local politics.
“I would like to thank my fellow councillors for their support in making this a success. I know they would have also benefitted from this by understanding the concerns of young people and how we should all be working towards shaping the Cornwall of the future.”
Kate MacArthur from Action for Children said: “The importance of empowering young people to be part of the Cornwall Youth council, having their voices heard and being part of change, cannot be underestimated. Today was the start of something really exciting.
“As a partnership, the Cornwall Youth Council, Action for Children and Cornwall Council will aim to address and remove barriers that young people feel stop them having their voice heard and empower all young people in Cornwall to access the Youth Council.”
The next steps for the partnership will be to support the young people in creating a Youth Council Charter using the information gathered from the launch and to continue to increase participation from young people across Cornwall.
Members of the four sub-committees, both Cornwall councillors and Youth Council members will be guided through developing the sub-committees to influence change.