Today's Newcastle Journal launches the Newcastle Youth Council. I have been excited about this since Children North East bid for the contract last November which we won in February. I have not been able to speak about it until now, it is a really important peice of work for us.
Newcastle City Council want to go further than simply having a forum for young people, they actually want a Youth Council that has authority and independence. This is why they looked for an external agency to work with a steering group of young people to help them hold elections and then work with the elected young people to establish how the Youth Council will work. I am delighted that Children North East was chosen for this work. It seems to me it is exactly the sort of advocacy role that we should have and I hope that we will be able to more of it in future.
It seems to me that there are two key issues facing children and young people today, the first is poverty which is so damaging because it affects self-confidence and aspirations; the second is intolerance of young people which I have written about in this blog several times. Many Children North East services try to ameliorate the impact of poverty on families, I would like us to be doing much more to break down the dreadful intolerance that adults have of our young people, the Youth Council is a small start in that direction.