Young people from across Cornwall gathered 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 councilors and the Cornish Members of the Youth Parliament for a day of discussions, workshops and weekend briefings.
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 organized themselves into four sub-committees focused on their priorities:
- Transport – improving opportunities to get to work and meet friends by making public transport more attractive
- Jobs, money, homes and opportunities – helping young people learn life skills and help them stay in Cornwall
- Promoting Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – ensuring 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 the age of 18, one of Cornwall Council’s key priority outcomes is that Cornwall is a brilliant place to be a child and grow up.
Holder of the Children and Families Portfolio, Barbara Ellenbroek, said, “The energy at New County Hall was fantastic and it was great to see so many young people excited and eager to get involved in local politics.
“I would like to thank my fellow advisors for their support in making this project a success. I know they would also have benefited by understanding the concerns of young people and how we should all work to shape the Cornwall of the future.
Kate MacArthur of Action for Children said: “The importance of empowering young people to be part of the Cornwall Youth Council, to have their voices heard and to be part of the change, cannot be underestimated. Today was the start of something really exciting.
“As a partnership, Cornwall Youth Council, Action for Children and Cornwall Council will aim to break down the barriers that young people feel are preventing them from having their voices heard and to empower all young people in Cornwall. access to the Youth Council.
The next steps for the partnership will be to help young people create a Youth Council Charter using the information gathered during the launch and to continue to increase the participation of young people in Cornwall.
Members of the four sub-committees, both Cornwall Councilors and Youth Council members, will be guided in the development of sub-committees to influence change.