A Coventry charity that has helped thousands of young people improve their communities is branching out to help raise the voices of young people in seven West Midlands locations.
Positive Youth Foundation (PYF) has teamed up with the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership to help youngsters in Birmingham, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Coventry inspire their communities to work together in response to social issues, violence and crime.
In the past year, the Coventry-based charity has helped 1,500 young people access extra-curricular activities and creative initiatives to encourage positive personal development, and is now on the lookout for 14–18-year-olds across the region who want to make their communities safer as part of the Violence Reduction Partnership’s Youth Assembly.
The project, commissioned by the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership, will see PYF help to establish seven local groups to allow young people to share ideas based on their experiences of crime in their communities, and what they would like to do to tackle it. These local groups will then join forces as a region wide West Midlands advisory group.
It is hoped that by empowering young people to have their voices heard over the issues directly affecting them, lasting change can be achieved to prevent and reduce violent crime.
The deadline to sign up is Monday, April 10, with the first Local Youth Assembly meetings at the start of May. Up to 10 people can sign up to each local group.
All participants will then be invited to take part in a regional Youth Assembly, bringing together members from the seven groups for the first time to share their findings and start to deliver some of the projects in their local areas.
One applicant, who is set to join the group in Coventry, said: “I believe I could have valuable input as I have grown up with first-hand experience of a lot of issues concerning the local area. I’m ready to discuss and be helpful and this seems like the perfect place to do it.”
Katie Davis, Programmes Manager at PYF, said: “The goal of the Youth Assembly is to encourage meaningful participation from young people who would not ordinarily have the chance to directly impact changes in their community.
“We want to hear from anyone aged 14 to 18 who wants to make a real difference to their areas. As well as creating a platform for them to discuss some of the issues affecting them, their friends and their families, we want the result to be real, positive changes in those areas.
“It will be one of the first times as a charity that we have had the chance to apply some of our values in multiple new areas all at once. We expect some great things to come out of the initial sessions, and look forward to hearing the outcomes before we look at how we can start to implement some of the ideas with the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership.”
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster said: “The West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership is committed to making the region safer for our young people. Young people need to know that we will safeguard and promote their welfare.
“The Youth Assembly project aims to empower our young people to work with us, to amplify the concerns and experiences of young people most affected by violence and to co-create solutions, to issues they care about in their community.
“We intend to create strong links with the fantastic youth projects that already exist across the region and embed the voices of young people with lived experience of violence into the way we work.”
For more information and to apply to the West Midlands Violence Reduction Partnership’s Youth Assembly, visit positiveyouthfoundation.org/vrp-youth-assemblyBack to News Archive