In recent years, the group has helped raise awareness about issues such as knife crime, mental health and the environment, while members have played their part during the coronavirus pandemic by sharing information in high schools, by breaking myths and supporting older people in their communities. .
The Peterborough Youth Council is now seeking new members aged 11-19, with the deadline of March 28 at midnight to submit nominations.
One of the current members is Ellis Morgan (17), who said: âPeople should get involved so they can voice their opinions. Every opinion counts. If you are on the youth council there are many advantages – you can meet like-minded people of the same age.
âWe want to change the future for the better and make new friends.
âYou will meet advisors and participate in events. You can help the city move forward.
âThe last meeting we were joined by someone from the city council who deals with culture and recreation and we discussed the next 10 years and the progression of culture within the city and what we believe that we are the best for young people, and what would be better also for the environmental impact.
The youth council met in person each month before the pandemic, and it hopes to increase its total to 13 members and have representation from all high schools.
Will Singh (17) of the King’s School (the Cathedral) featured in the recent short film.
He said: “I think it was really effective because I had a lot of people on social media, or even on the streets, who said ‘you are that guy in the video’ because he been so well networked in many schools and colleges in Peterborough.
âIt has been played in a lot of schools. Not only is it quite humiliating to be a part of the project and send messages like that, but if people see a youngster from Peterborough being a part of it, it has an effect.
The youth council has already held a knife crime conference and campaigned, including working with local authorities and schools to reduce their carbon footprint and for schools to introduce meatless Mondays.
He also consulted with Peterborough City Council on budget cuts to youth services, as well as Peterborough’s new cultural strategy.
And according to Marya Ali, a youth voice worker on the council, those opinions really make a difference.
âThe Youth Council has been the most consistent way to hear the voice of the city’s youth,â she said.
âThe youth of Peterborough, no matter where you are from, you can make your voice heard.
âThis is not just a way for Peterborough City Council to hear the voice of young people, but of any organization at the local level.
Liz Morris, Youth and Community Officer at Cambridgeshire County Council, echoed these views.
She said, âIt’s really important that we have this close communication and network through youth counseling to reach out to their peers and find out the barriers they are facing and find out what we can do to better support them.
âWe have to reverse the narrative. The mental health of young people is of great concern, but people are calling them a lost generation and there is a lot of negative rhetoric around young people.
“But we know that through everything they face, all of these challenges, they have resilience, and it’s our job to harness that and reassure them, to support and nurture that resilience and to give them the tools to enable them to move forward.
âWe can’t do that unless we actively listen to them and ask their experiences, ask them what they need and what changes they need to move forward.
âIn addition, the community at large should realize that young people can play a role now. It’s not just once they’ve grown into adulthood.
You can follow the Youth Council on Instagram @peterboroughyouthcouncil.