BYV, Blackpool Youth Voice, held their first annual Youth Summit Thursday 21st April, at the Oracle. Over 50 people were in in attendance representing schools, colleges, Victoria Hospital, uniformed groups, voluntary and community youth projects across Blackpool. The event provided information about the top 3 issues (living wage, curriculum for life and transport) from the 2015 MYM, Make Your Mark campaign; then moved into a Q&A session where young people could ask questions, related to these topics, to panel members. The panel members consisted of Jake Adams (Chair of Blackpool Youth Voice & Blackpool Member of youth Parliament), Cllr Maria Kirkland, Cllr Danny Scott, Jane Cole (CEO Blackpool Transport), Sue Littlefair (Princes Trust), Deborah Terras (URPotential), Andy Fairbrother (Chair of Blackpool Providers Group and Owner of VLlancs Training).
The event was a huge success and many young people were able to ask key questions about issues which have an impact on their lives in Blackpool. Blackpool Youth Voice plan to hold two Youth Summits per year.
The national Make Your Mark campaign, which will shape the future for Blackpool young people, ran from August 12th to October 9th 2015. The campaign is a part of the British Youth Council, United Kingdom Youth Parliament campaign, which is a ballot paper for young people, aged 11 to 18, to have their say on what is debated by their Member of Youth Parliament’s in the House of Commons every year. BYV previously ran the campaign in 2014, gaining 4,782 ballot (~35% turn out), however, they achieved an exceptional 8,893 ballots (~64%) for the 2015 campaign with the living wage(1,349 votes), curriculum for life(1,129 votes) and transport(1,052 votes) coming out as the top issues.
The idea of this campaign is for the implementation of a national living wage. Which will result in areas outside of London being entitled to £8.25 per hour, and for inside London £9.40 per hour. This issue came first in our Make Your Make campaign for Blackpool with 15.17% of the total votes.
Curriculum for Life:
The purpose of this campaign is to radically overhaul the way in which citizenship education and PSHE is taught within schools. This is to give young people vital information in order for them to have the best possible opportunities in life and leave school as functional citizens. Teachers should be specifically trained to a national standard to deliver this education to ensure to all students, no matter where they’re from, are receiving the best possible citizenship education. This issue came second in the Make Your Make campaign with 12.70% of the total votes.
The intention of this campaign is to improve pricing structure, cleanliness, frequency, reliability and treatment of young people on Blackpool’s public transport. This issue came third in our Make Your Make campaign with 11.83% of the total vote.
Moving forward from this event Blackpool Youth Voice will develop an action plan based on the views of Blackpool Young People. This action plan, with the support of key organisations in the Town, will be used to influence decision makers and work alongside the council to improve services for young people.
Blackpool Youth Voice are planning to develop a model/lesson plan around curriculum for life to be introduced in PSHE lessons and build links in transport to allow young people’s views about transport in Blackpool to be taken into consideration. Further updates will be published on our website, http://blackpoolyouthvoice.co.uk/, as well as responses to any unanswered questions from the event.
Written by Liam Richardson PR Officer Blackpool Youth Voice