Forth’s youth told: think BIG!
Think BIG. Think bold. Be creative. And there’s no such thing as a daft idea! That was the message to participants at an event held at Pilton Youth & Childrens Project last week – and the results of the day’s work will help to guide youth service provision across Forth Neighbourhood.
Organised by Forth Neighbourhood Partnership and Total Craigroyston, YouthTalk brought together young people from across Forth with community representatives and decision makers to discuss three key issues.
‘Positively Engaging Young People’ is one of Forth Neighbourhood Partnership’s main priorities and Convener Cllr Cammy Day explained to delegates: “We want young people’s views and aspirations to influence decisions that are taken locally and to listen to their suggestions about how things can be improved for them. We want them to have a real say in the future of this community and how it develops over the next ten or more years”.
A background report to aid discussion was prepared prior to the Youth Talk event. During the review young people across Forth were approached in schools, libraries, at youth groups, basically anywhere they assembled – and asked their opinions on the area. North Edinburgh Young Peoples Forum organised and conducted a survey in four local High Schools and the local Street Work team also gathered views: all told around 1400 young people gave their opinions on their local community -what they like, what they hate and what Forth needs to make it better for young people.
Assisted by motivational speaker Mike Stevenson from Thinktastic, Wednesday’s YouthTalk event saw young people and ‘seniors’ working together in small groups to discuss three ‘ideas’:
How do we involve more young people in positive activity?
How do we better promote the positive contribution our young people make in their community?
What should an ideal youth-friendly community look like – and how do we get there?
Once participants got into the swing of things, the conversation – and the ideas – began to flow. Some of the ideas generated – for example a common social media address for local youth groups to share information, and an annual celebration of young people’s achievements – proved very popular and could be acted on almost immediately. Others, however, may take longer – you did ask the young people to think BIG, Mike!
All of the ideas generated – big and small – will be recorded and a report of the YouthTalk event will be circulated in due course. It will make interesting reading!
And finally, thanks so much for the warm words and that round of applause for the NEN – it was really touching and much appreciated!