Blackpool Youth Voice (BYV), held their second Youth Summit on November 15th 2016 at the prestigious Blackpool town hall. Over 40 people were in attendance representing schools, colleges, uniformed groups, voluntary groups and community youth projects across Blackpool. The evening consisted of two parts: the first being BYV AGM and the second being the Youth Summit, where a question and answer session was included.
Jake Adams BYV’s Chair, presented their annual report. Members of the group were also given the opportunity to speak about how the group has personally benefited them.
The Youth Summit was designed to enable participants to discuss with the panel members the top three issues identified from the recent Make Your Mark campaign. The panel members consisted of Jake Adams (Chair of Blackpool Youth Voice & Blackpool’s Member of Youth Parliament), David Williams (PM lead at Blackpool Sixth Form), John Stainton (CASHIER), Wendy Casson (Head of Education Diversity) and Lesley Slack (Assistant Head teacher for Education Diversity).
The national Make Your Mark campaign was open from August 12th to October 7th 2016. 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 managed the campaign in 2015 achieving a staggering 8,893 ballots (~64% turn out) and this year we gathered 6,024 (~44% turnout) which, while lower than the previous year, is an impressive figure that we’re proud of.
The top three issues from Blackpool young people during the Make Your Mark campaign were Curriculum to prepare us for Life, Mental Health and Stop cuts that affect the NHS.
Curriculum for Life:14.59% of the total votes in make your mark were for Curriculum to prepare us for life. The purpose of Curriculum to prepare us for life is to give young people vital information in order for them to have the best possible opportunities in life and leave school more prepared for independent living. 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.
Stop Cuts That Affect the NHS:The purpose of this campaign is to combat all funding cuts being made to the NHS as we believe the NHS cannot be sustained while funding cuts are being made. We must keep our vital services to protect everyone. This issue came second in our Make Your Mark campaign with 13.08% of the total vote.
Mental Health:The purpose of this campaign is to improve mental health for young people and making mental health education compulsory. This issue came third in our Make Your Make campaign with 10.38% of the total vote.
The event was a huge success with many young people freely asking questions about each issue, particularly focusing on Curriculum for Life and Mental Health. Throughout discussions there were solid contacts made and actions for the group to take forward.