Thursday, 9 August 2012

Newcastles of the World - and our brilliant young people

Did you know there are over 100 places called 'Newcastle' in the world? Every two years 'Newcastles of the World' gather in one of the cities, this year it was the turn of our very own Newcastle upon Tyne to host the biggest ever gathering for a week of events that took place at the end of July.

This year for the first time young people from other Newcastles were invited to take part - young people came from South Africa, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. Newcastle Youth Council (which is supported by Children North East) organised a range of workshops and activities for the young people. South Africa brought some of their Youth Parliament representatives; Germany and Switzerland have long established youth councils and Japan did not have a Youth Council but went away enthused to create one.
Delegates from places called Newcastle all over the world on a visit to Alnwick Castle at the end of July
The week consisted of discussions, civic events hosted by the Mayor of Newcastle and sightseeing tours in the region.

The youth delegates debated common concerns - environmental issues; enterprise, education and employment; youth image - the way in which young people are portrayed in the different countries; and Youth Councils, this last being lead by young people from the Newcastle upon Tyne Youth Council. On the final day the young people fed back their conclusions to the adult delegates, who accepted their proposal for a website with guidance about how to set up youth councils and so that young people living in different Newcastles can be in contact with each other.

The next gathering will be in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada in 2014. Our own Youth Councillors had a fantastic time and hope maybe they will get to visit Canada in two years time as young representatives of Newcastle upon Tyne.

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