Children and young people's voice
Wiltshire Youth Council (WYC)
Wiltshire Youth Council will give young people the chance to have their say on decisions that are made by the local authority. Our area boards have funding allocated for projects for young people. Youth councillors will be helping to allocate money to such projects that are important to them and their peers. They will also have the chance to inspect council services, ensuring that these represent young people's best interests.
We are asking young people aged 11 - 17 years old to put themselves forward.
We are asking all our secondary schools and education providers who teach 11 - 17 year olds to hold elections to nominate their setting's youth councillors. Members of Wiltshire Council's Child and Youth Voice Team will be able to provide advice and guidance to schools on how to support their pupils to campaign and will also be able to provide campaign packs to young people wishing to stand. Speak to your school directly if you are interested in getting involved.
Elections will take place between 29 January 2024 and 2 February 2024 and will be held on an electronic voting platform that will easily be accessible to school pupils, using a web link. A youth councillor and deputy youth councillor will be appointed.
Youth councillors will be asked to commit one evening a month to attend a full Wiltshire Youth Council meeting which will focus on issues that are important to young people. These meetings will be hybrid, which means that if the youth councillor cannot make it in person then they can join via Microsoft Teams.
They will also be asked to talk about the issues discussed at the meeting at school and represent the views of their peers.
Once elected Youth Councillors can stand in an internal election to become a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP), Wiltshire has three seats on the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).
Runners up will be offered the opportunity to become a Deputy Member of Youth Parliament, their role will be to support the MYP with their work and step in when the MYP is unable to attend a Youth Parliament meeting.
Youth councillors will also be offered an excellent programme of training to support them in their roles, covering topics such as, debating, running a youth inspection and delivering presentations.
Our schools will help inspire our young people to actively engage in discussing relevant issues. Youth councillors will sit within a forum that encourages debate and reflection and they will be able to bring this back to your own school or setting. This will allow schools, as leaders, to engage at a deeper level, with the youth voice both within the school and within the wider community - to ensure that we are listening to our young people and protecting them as best we can. This forum will also provide an opportunity to help shape all Wiltshire Council services to ensure they are right for young people in areas including transport, climate change, youth services and education to name just a few.
If you are a young person who lives in Wiltshire but does not attend school in Wiltshire then there will be eight community seats available which you can be elected to. Candidates must be able to evidence that they can consult with other young people who live in Wiltshire, for example they attend a youth group, faith group or any other place that they can attain the views of children and young people.
For further information, please read the information document on this page.
Child and Youth Voice Ambassador Scheme
Ambassadors are 'experts by experience'. Anyone who has received services from Wiltshire Council can be an Ambassador. We are particularly interested in people being an Ambassador if they or a family member have or have had:
A Social worker or Family Keyworker
Specialist educational services such as had an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan), Educational Welfare Officer or seen an Educational Psychologist.
Involvement with our Young Peoples Services like the YOT (Young Offenders Team) or our Stronger Families Team.
At Wiltshire Council we know how important it is for us to get feedback from people who use our services this so we can improve those services and make them the best they can be. When a Young Ambassador is involved in a training session, interview or inspection people tend to be more engaged and take in what is being told to them. Wiltshire Council believes that anyone can teach anyone, that is why we want to recruit young people who can explain what it is like to be on the receiving end of services.
They use their experience to help train and educate others, for example they may present to new foster carers or social workers and tell them about what it is like to be on the receiving end of services.
They interview a range of people, these may include senior managers, social workers, or others that make decisions that will affect others.
They will inspect different teams and services to ensure that they are fully meeting the needs of the young people that use them.
They look at policies and procedures to make sure other young people can fully understand them and what this will mean for them.
- Ambassadors get to share their experiences, good and bad with people that can make changes, this will help other young people that are going through a similar life journey.
- Consultants will gain incredible experience which they can include on their CV.
People who want to be an Ambassador can meet with a member of our Child and Youth Voice Team and find out more about the scheme. Please email email@example.com to find out more:
Mind Of My Own
The Child and Youth Voice Team are responsible for encouraging children and young people to use the Mind of My Own App
Mind of My Own is an amazing tool that allows young people who receive support from Children's Services to express their views anytime. It gives them opportunity to send a message to their social worker, Independent Reviewing Officer (IRO), or other members of staff. Mind of my own is really useful when young people are thinking about anything that might be worrying them, or if they have some fantastic news that they can't wait to share. You can also use it to express their views ready for any meeting or review that is coming up.
The app is available in over 100 languages!
Young people can access it on any internet browser, or you can download it onto any smartphone device- including your phone, tablet, or computer.
Or their social worker can help them to download it and will be very happy to show you how to use it.
For further information please visit https://mindofmyown.org.uk/our-apps/for-young-people/