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New team will champion voice of young people in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Council has created a new team dedicated to championing the voices of children and young people throughout Wiltshire.

Published 31 March 2021
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Wiltshire Council has created a new team dedicated to championing the voices of children and young people throughout Wiltshire.

The Child and Youth Voice Team will be responsible for ensuring that young people have a means of expressing themselves about issues that affect them.

They will engage with children and young people from a diverse range of backgrounds from a variety of youth groups across the county, including children in care, asylum seeking children, children with special educational needs and/or disabilities and other young people that are being supported by statutory services.

The team will develop and strengthen Wiltshire's Youth Union, which is a group of young people that is led by three Members of Youth Parliament. The Youth Union is responsible for getting feedback from other child and youth forums and making sure that these views are heard and shared with the relevant people making decisions. Wiltshire Youth Union  is seeking to recruit new youth members from every secondary school and a variety of community settings that represent young people from various backgrounds, e.g. from black or minority ethnic groups, from LGBTQ+ communities, from armed forces families or those who are young carers.

Plans already in the pipeline include  'Meet the Leaders' sessions.  Young people will attend themed meetings with council leaders and other decision makers that can implement change locally to discuss issues that are important to them, such as health and the environment.

The team will also be setting  up a new Voice Academy, which will offer training sessions to young people enabling them to learn new skills such as interview efficiency and how to give presentations effectively.

Alex, the chair of Wiltshire's Children in Care Council (CICC) said: "I'm excited for the ideas that the new team will bring to the CICC.  It is the new drive we needed to get our voices heard."

Lucy Townsend, Corporate Director for People at Wiltshire Council said: "Listening to the views of children and young people is a priority for us and we are passionate about ensuring that these are acted upon in a meaningful way.

"The Child and Youth Voice Team is an exciting development and will be a mechanism for all children and young people in Wiltshire to connect with local leaders and have a say about the issues that are important to them. I am looking forward to hearing more from our young people in Wiltshire"

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