British Youth Council receives £170k to lead 'youth voice' projects

By Joanne Parkes

| 28 February 2019

A pilot "youth voice" initiative will help young people to shape national policy, the minister for civil society has claimed.

The British Youth Council has received funding to lead an initiative that aims to help young people shape national policy

Funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will be used to set up a youth steering group, a young inspectors group and digital youth engagement research project for those aged 10 to 25.

The news has been welcomed by the British Youth Council, which has been awarded a grant of £170,000 to lead the consortium of youth organisations delivering the pilots until March next year.

The DCMS says the projects meet three commitments from its Civil Society Strategy to encourage young people to participate in making national policy.

Mims Davies, the minister for sport and civil society, said: "We want young people to have a central role in shaping the future of our society.

"Too often the work of government can feel distant from their real lives, but these new projects will give young people an extra voice, make them feel more valued, and show them that they can make a difference and their views can have a positive impact."

Amanda Chetwynd-Cowieson, chair of the British Youth Council said: "As the national youth council, we believe that young people should be heard and have their views valued and acted upon, and we are proud to be working with all the partners involved to pilot new approaches to engaging young people in the policy process.

"We're looking forward to sharing the outcomes and lessons learned to show that not only is it possible to involve young people in policymaking, but it's necessary and beneficial for all."

Some 30 young people from across England will be recruited to help develop policy and to monitor and evaluate the national programmes.

According to the DCMS, regional partners will be targeting those with little or no youth voice experience and from seldom heard groups such as young carers and children in care to take part.

The digital youth engagement research project will explore how digital methods can be used to engage young people in policymaking.

This project will be led by The Mix, a charity which offers support to young people under 25, providing support and helping the young people design a digital tool that could be used in future to engage more young people in how policy is made.

Other partner organisations involved are Youth Focus North West, Youth Focus: North East and Youth Work Unit.

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