This morning Harry Carter, former Member of Youth Parliament for Sheffield, led a session with students at York St John University in a lecture on youth participation in society.
In a 3 hour session this morning, Harry gave a lecture to undergraduates on the Children, Young People and Families BA (Hons) on the importance of involving young people in politics. Using his background in youth participation, Harry’s spoke of the need for organisations to involve young people in their decision making structure, and more importantly the benefit that young people’s views can provide.
Warning against tokenism, Harry drew on his experience as an Advisor to the Children’s Rights Alliance for England, as an Associate Research Assistant at De Montfort University and in the UK Youth Parliament, to provide evidence that young people are a benefit to youth rights groups, research centres and youth representative organisations. The students, tomorrow’s Youth Workers and Social Workers, were able to see the perspective and hear the experiences of a young person, interacting with the types of roles they will soon take on.
Harry’s lecture focused on the growth of youth participation, it’s forms in charities, pressure groups and local government, and also addressed the need for youth organisations to harness the media when campaigning. In light of cuts to youth services, Harry also warned against the stripping away of youth participation due to expense. He concluded the session with clips and case studies from campaign work on this site, as examples of the various youth participation jobs he has coordinated, followed by a Q&A from students. The work of UKYP in Sheffield was provided as a resource for the University.