Young voices speak out on the issues that affect them
Last updated at 20:25, Thursday, 16 February 2012
Young people will today get the chance to make their voice heard at an event in West Cumbria.
Joseph Richardson, 15, of Cockermouth, Aylin Hoggan, 14, of Maryport, Jennifer Grisdale, 17, of Workington, and William Manning, 12, of Maryport, are part of the Allerdale Youth Council, which was set up in May.
The council was created to give youngsters a greater say in what happens in their communities.
It has organised a youth assembly being held today at Lakes College, Lillyhall.
Around 60 11 to 21-year-olds will gather to talk about health, crime and disorder, the environment and their community.
Councillors and representatives from the police and fire services and NHS will also attend.
Jennifer, a student at Lakes College, said: “I would like decision makers to know that we care about the area we live in.”
William, a pupil at Aspatria’s Beacon Hill School, said: “I got involved as adults don’t always want to know what young people think.”
The assembly’s findings will be sent to county council leader Eddie Martin and Allerdale council.
A county council spokesman said: “The Allerdale youth assembly will be a fantastic opportunity to help break down the barriers between young people and adults.
“The young people helping to plan the youth assembly have put a lot of time and effort into designing the format to ensure that everyone can discuss issues and solutions in a friendly atmosphere.
“Allerdale youth council is starting to provide a voice for young people across the district and enabling them to play a role in shaping their communities.”
Aylin, a pupil at Maryport’s Netherhall School, said: “I want young people the chance to be heard.
“I would encourage any other young people wanting to play a part to get involved.
“You don’t have to have been involved with the youth council before, as you just need to have an interest in giving your views and ideas for how we can make Allerdale an even better place for young people.”
Joseph, a student at Cockermouth School, said: “At the youth council there is a really friendly atmosphere which means that we can all work together, and we are all supported by a great team.”
The county council’s local committee for Allerdale has awarded £1,500 to fund the first assembly.
It is hoped that two youth forums can take place each year and that town youth councils could be set up in Workington, Cockermouth, Maryport, Keswick and the north Allerdale area.
First published at 19:20, Thursday, 16 February 2012
Published by http://www.timesandstar.co.uk
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