Sheffield City Council is to launch a new Young People’s Strategy. The strategy will plan the most effective ways of getting young people involved in projects in their local community, and will run up until 2014.
The new plan will aim to create a process within services across the city which young people can use to become involved in decision making. It will recommend that young people should be given the opportunity to influence the way services are planned. It will also aim to get young people active in democratic processes across the city.
This kind of representation of young people in the city follows the partnership set up between youth voice groups in February when Sheffield Futures obtained the tender to co-ordinate youth council activities. It is Harry’s belief that these positive changes to governance and services will allow young people to hold local providers to account and will truly enable them to decide what projects they feel will improve their communities the most. It was also ask service providers abide by a set of participation criteria.
Harry believes that providing young people with new skills, is fundamental in the process of re-building communities with a view of involving all citizens, young and old. Following the riots, by welcoming all citizens to work together, trust within neighbourhoods can be restored.
He commented saying “There are multiple benefits to the participation of those who will later have to access programmes, or recommend them to their peers. One outcome of will be that individuals acquire the confidence and knowledge to take part in this kind of decision making project again and again. From a wider perspective it will go some way in making the services they steer friendlier, more accessible and more useful to others in the future. There is no better time than the present to get young people feeling like they have a sense of ownership, stake or responsible position in the society they live.”