Saltash Youth Council celebrates 30th anniversary

Considered the first youth council in Cornwall and possibly nationally, it was officially launched in 1992.

The youth council was the brainchild of former Saltash Mayor Sue Hooper during her year in office, from 1991 to 1992.

Sue felt there was a dire need to have a central organization to coordinate all of the youth groups in town.

To this end, Sue called a meeting of every youth organization and school in Saltash, and chaired regular meetings at the Saltash Guildhall for over a year until the eventual launch.

Virtually all youth groups and school representatives attended the meetings and as a result, in 1992 the Saltash Town Youth Council was launched.

In addition, the youth council had the support of the police, local school teachers, youth workers and youth workers.

Ms Hooper believed at the time that the youth council, which was an independent youth forum and not run or governed by local council authorities, could lead to a wealth of knowledge and be able to cooperate and communicate and d be a practical help for every group of young people and youth members.

The aims of the youth council are to provide better facilities and equipment for young people and to provide a focal point for youth organizations to share platforms to demonstrate their organizing work and for young people to also participate.

Other aims are to engage with other like-minded organizations within the community to demonstrate and advance their skills and abilities, and to act as a central point of reference for young people for availability equipment, transportation, events and projects, resources and locations.

Ms Hooper launched the Saltash Town Youth Council with a donation of £1,000, which she raised as mayor at the time.

The Saltash Town Youth Council is still one of the main youth platforms in Saltash and has been a pioneer over the past 30 years for other similar facilities for young people wishing to be an independent forum for the benefit of young people in general .

The Youth Council meets quarterly and each youth member group has a say in all matters raised at the meetings, including discussions of funding requests, which are approved by an elected Executive Management Committee.

The Youth Council receives annual grants from Saltash City Council to distribute to youth groups as the City Council felt the strength and knowledge of the independent Youth Council was better informed of all youth activities within Saltash.

Young people and members of groups applying for funding are encouraged to attend meetings to present their projects to the Youth Council; it gives young people a voice and life experience in a variety of ways.

The Youth Council has organized various local youth events over the years, such as ‘Mission Youth’ in Saltmill and ‘Youth Village’ in Saltash Mayfair, and over the years and in the past it has organized youth projects school holidays such as sports and music and drama.

A PHOTO taken at the Saltash Town Youth Council’s Mission Youth event in Saltmill Park, Saltash in the summer of 2017 ( ) ( )

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Youth Council held awards ceremonies where young people who had excelled in their own youth groups were recognized for their efforts and rewarded at special ceremonies.

After its launch in 1992, the Saltash Town Youth Council was recognized by the Queen’s 40th Anniversary Trust’s Communication Challenge and received a Bronze Certificate and Highly Commended Award in the Regional and English Round and placed in the Top 40 of the country.

The prize was presented at the Royal Festival Hall in London by Lord Younger of Prestwick. A delegation from the Saltash Town Youth Council representing everyone involved was there to receive the certificate.

There are two more co-founding members who still serve on the Saltash Youth Council, both of whom have given 30 years of service; Len Maddock representing the Saltash Scouts and Sue Hooper MBE the initiator.

Len has also been instrumental in organizing Mission Youth in Saltmill Park in the past. Both Sue and Len serve on the Executive Committee of the Youth Council.

A Youth Council spokesperson said: “Saltash Town Youth Council has evolved over the past 30 years but has always retained its identity, opportunity and determination.

“It still holds firm and resolutely to its first principles of supporting the youth of Saltash, and still has the majority membership of the original organization.

“However, the youth council is aware that there are other organizations within Saltash, who may not be aware of the forum, and we would so love to reach out to them and invite them to join, because there are so many opportunities and facilities within the youth council to embrace and take advantage of.

“We invite any youth organization that has not yet heard of the Saltash Town Youth Council, and would like to find out more, and perhaps join the forum, to contact Steph Carter, who coordinates the member communications network; please email: [email protected] – you can also find information about the Youth Council on the Saltash Town Youth Council Facebook page.

“Details of the 30th anniversary celebrations are still under discussion and will be released in due course.”