Wycombe Youth Council

Wycombe Youth Council was officially launched on Thursday 1st March, an exciting initiative lead by WYA, the youth council will see young people have the oppertunity to have their voices heard, and make decisions which directly impact their youth community.

Proposed Approach

At Wycombe Youth Action we strive to inspire and empower young people, and do not wish to merely deliver tokenistic projects. Our method of delivery will be to firstly to equip young people with knowledge and skills in campaigning and politics and then deliver a youth council which speaks for young people living in the Wycombe District.

Our plan for the four year period is to cap the term serviced on the council to two years, each two year term will see four phases.

Phase 1 will see Wycombe Youth Action build relationships with approximately 20 local schools and educational establishments in the area, we already enjoy a close working relationship with the schools and colleges within High Wycombe. A dedicated project officer will visit schools and deliver to them a youth council toolkit which will include lesson plans which are interactive and easy to follow for young people, advice on campaigning, and guidance on holding an election in school. Schools will also receive an assembly delivered by the project officer, and ongoing support throughout the year.

Phase 2 will see schools actively engage in the campaigning and election process, this will increase school spirit and also ensure that those individuals high in motivation and commitment are elected in to the council.

Phase 3 will see the youth council sit for at least 9 sessions per academic year. During this time they will also have the opportunity to visit parliament, meet their local MP, have a tour and undertake a workshop which aims to explain how local level politics works. Young Councillors will also have the opportunity to take the lead on issues that they feel strongly about, such as conservation, cohesion, education and so forth. Every effort will be made to match these councillors with mentors either serving as local councillors or active in the specific lead area.

During the second year instead of a visit to parliament, young counselors will host a local conference hosted by a partner organisation, in place of their visit to parliament.

Phase 4 will see the local councillors deliver workshops and assemblies and workshops in their local schools to those young people wishing to become youth councillors the following term. They will be encouraged to mentor their successors and increase interest in the council in the school. Youth Councillors will also be an intrinsic part of the evaluation process at the end of their term. They will have the opportunity to both evaluate themselves, they youth council, their effectiveness and of course WYA. To ensure that the evaluation is impartial and youth councillors feel they can feedback honestly, one evaluation sessions will occur in closed session.

Of course some phases will overlap with each other, and young people will have regular guidance from the project officer. For example phase 4 will take place whilst councillors are in phase 3.

How the public will be involved in the project

Wycombe Youth Action have over 3000 followers across their social media platforms, we will be issuing regular updates and asking for feedback and review from our followers. In addition the Youth Council will have its own webpage and social media presence, this will run by young people and overseen by WYA.

Ethics and Governance

It is proposed that the project will be delivered by Wycombe Youth Action, who will be providing regular reports and updates to the District council representative and the Cabinet Member for youth; this will be through quarterly reports, meeting minutes and regular communication through email and meetings.

In addition all activity will be transparent with minutes being published on a designated youth Council webpage, and updates on dedicated social media pages.

All policies and procedures pertaining to the work we carry out will also apply to work delivered with the council. This will include but not be exclusive of:

Safeguarding Policy

Equal Opportunities Policy

Health and Safety Policy

All policies are kept up to date through guidance from Action for Youth and review by our lead trustee for human resources.

Wycombe Youth Forum