Youth Act! at Youth in the Community conference
Carrie Supple, Youth Act!(TM) project director, will describe how Youth! Act helps young people to create positive change in their communities at the Neil Stewart Associates' Youth in the Community 2006 conference.The event will use discussions, case studies and seminars to explore how the needs of young people can be incorporated into service provision and how young people can be empowered to make changes to their communities.
Carrie will introduce members of the award winning Stonebridge Estate Youth Act! group as an example of young people who have successfully campaigned for positive change in their community.
The group joined Youth Act! in May 2004, because they wanted to develop their campaigning skills in order to improve safety on their estate, increase lighting and facilities and give a voice to young people. They kicked off their campaign with a ‘Make a Difference Day’ where they lobbied Councillors and members of the New Deal for Communities.
Their achievements have included securing £2400 from the Community Chest Grant for new basketball nets and obtaining a new bright light by their football 'cage' so they can see and feel safer.
The group has appeared on Newsnight, won a Philip Lawrence Award in 2004 for outstanding achievements in good citizenship by young people and has been awarded the ‘Most Active Tenants group’ (special prize) by Haringey Council. They were also Wavemakers winners and BT Seen and Heard Report winners in 2005.
The conference aims to help establish ‘multi-agency’ partnerships between national and local stakeholders in order to deliver services which are responsive to young people’s needs. It will address how to empower young people through promotion of volunteering methods, of reaching and motivating disadvantaged young people, and through improving the quality of information and guidance available.
Youth Act! will be used as a successful example of active citizenship and of empowering young people through ownership of a project that aims to improve their environment.
“It is so inspiring when people decide it is their business to try and tackle a problem for the sake of everyone. Youth Act supports groups of young people and adults who want to learn how to improve the life of their communities, together”.
Zak, a former Youth Act! participant added:
“Youth Act! has meant to me that small people do have powers and sometimes grown-ups don’t realise, but we small people do!”
The conference will be hosted Hosted by Neil Stewart Associates at the Barbican Centre, London, on Wednesday 7 June. Carrie will be speaking alongside Rod Aldridge, chair of the Russell Commission, Tom Wylie, chief executive of the National Youth Agency and Carolyn Caldwell, executive director of the National Association of Connexions Partners.