Youth Council offers young people more influence 

Published

Young people who want to make a difference in the borough are being encouraged to join a newly formed Youth Council.

Following a decision by Cabinet, The Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and Achieving for Children, which delivers children’s services in the borough, have implemented the council to represent young people 

Members of the Youth Council will:

•    Be the voice of young people
•    Contribute to local council policies
•    Produce campaigns and projects about issues that are important to young people
•    Make sure every young person can have a say in decisions that affect them

Councillor Stuart Carroll, lead member for adult social care, children’s services, health and mental health, said: “Young people are our future and we want to hear not only what matters to them, but empower and encourage them to help shape and inform local decision making that could have an impact on their lives and outcomes. 

“We currently have a number of youth groups in the borough which engage on issues important to young people via a range of forums. However, young people, quite rightly, want to be involved across the range of council areas in a way that is not tokenistic, or too late to influence decision making. 

“Having a dedicated forum for young residents to engage in both national issues and local issues, as well as keeping a close eye on the business of the council, is the most meaningful way of achieving this.

“A Youth Council will provide a platform for them to take responsibility and highlight any local concerns and key issues from the perspective of local young people.”

The closing date for the initial round of applications is Monday 31 May. It is hoped the council will hold its first meeting in September, with some introductory sessions during the summer. 

Members would have the responsibility of being an active two-way communicator between their school/college/youth centre/group and the Youth Council. They would have the opportunity to challenge and debate issues, enhance political decisions and work on positive projects.  

The Youth Council will support young people to get involved within their communities, providing them with a platform to learn how to campaign to make changes for the better.

It wants to be the first port of call for all councillors and local businesses when they need to hear the voice of young people. 

Members will learn personal development skills such as confidence building, teamwork, engagement with others as well as developing negotiation and debating skills.

Youth Council members need to be aged between 14 and 19 and need to either live, or go to school, within the borough.

They would be in post for a minimum of one year and would be expected to participate in at least two meetings per month. The term would align with that of the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

To join, visit the Achieving for Children website and fill in the application form.

Alternatively, email Elaine Keating, youth engagement officer, at elaine.keating@achievingforchildren.org.uk