Posted: 12 August 2020

Celebrating International Youth Day

International Youth Day is an opportunity to celebrate young people's voices, actions and initiatives. It's a chance to recognise the importance of youth participation in political, economic and social change.

Today we are celebrating the work of some of our youth participation groups, who have dedicated their time and energy to leading positive change for others. 

Youth Led Comission 

youth led comission
'We are seven young people from different services, but we all
have had similar
experiences of coming to the UK by ourselves without our families'

The youth led comission have worked together on a campaign to give young people better
opportunities through the immigration process by asking the Government to give all
unaccompanied children an independent
guardian. This policy exists in Scotland and
Northern Ireland, but not in
England and Wales.

One of the young people said; 'It's a beautiful experience being able to meet other people, visiting new places, and understanding how we can make change'

Hub Squad

hub squard
'We are a group of 16 to 23 year olds that spread awareness of mental health'

This year Hub Squad carried out a music project to communicate important
messages about anxiety and depression to teenagers. They felt this would be
an effective way of sharing the message with this age group, and their track
'Memory lane' can be found via our Pot of Gold website.

The core message that they wanted to communicate through their music
was to let young people know that they are not
alone in their struggles and
that getting help is okay;

'We go through everyday life and struggles, but if we come together and face them, we will be okay'

The ST4R group

'st4r groupST4R group is about bringing young people from different backgrounds together. We meet every fortnight and campaign about different things we want to change'

Earlier this year, the ST4R group designed a survey for other young refugees to share their ideas about what needs to change to improve the lives of young refugees in this country. The survey received over 60 responses and the results have been published in the ST4R booklet. 

The group are asking that the Government provide better housing for young refuges, with one young person saying this; 'Many of us left our country because of being scared for our lives. We want to forget about what’s happening back home and how our parents are trying to survive there. Our environment is really important so we have less time to worry about the things back home'

The Dove Group

dove group'We are a group of young people who meet twice a month. We work in consultation with agencies like the local council and The Children’s Society to help make Torbay a fun place for disabled young people to live'

This year, the Dove's group developed a short film highlighting the issues faced by young people in the Bay who have learning difficulties. This is to help disabled young people to overcome social isolation and loneliness, and to highlight the issue around the lack of support and facilities for young people. The group launched their film at a local event, and showed professionals and young people their views, opinions and ideas. 

 

Hope Group

hope group'This youth group is run by our Hope service in Greater Manchester, and helps refugee and migrant young people to overcome their loneliness. The group provides a safe space where these young people can meet new people, share their views and develop new skills through fun activities'

For this year's refugee week, the Hope group created a zine that explains the experiences of those who migrate to the UK.

The group hope that when people read the zine, it will help the reader understand what people go through. They also hope that when people read the zine, they will think about it and talk with people who have power to do something about the issues.

'People need to understand what the asylum experience is like’

Read mOre about our youth led projects

By Clare Rowland
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