Friday, 15 December 2017

Merry Christmas from the Youth Cabinet

At last night's final Youth Cabinet meeting of 2017, we met with Vale of Glamorgan Council Officer Hannah Davies  to learn more about the Council's budget and how there is a need to change the way services are provided.  This video below gives you a good overview of the current situation and how the Council are looking for new ways of working.  If you have any good ideas make sure you let the Council know by completing the current budget consultation.

For the rest of the meeting we went through the agenda and discussed some ongoing areas of work including the Welsh Bacc.  Good news ..... Welsh Government and WJEC are attending our meeting in January so we will be able to have more of an update then!

We are also progressing with trying to increase the number of work experience opportunities available within the Council and did a bit of fact finding about the current workforce.  Did you know the Council employs over 5000 people - we didn't! We also discussed the Council's Rights of Way Improvement Plan which looks at encouraging more people to access the countryside via footpaths and bridleways.

It's become tradition for the Youth Cabinet to do Secret Santa at our Christmas meeting and it was exciting to share our gifts with each other at the end!

We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and an amazing 2018!

FIS Christmas Party

This week I attended the Family Information Service (FIS) Christmas Party at Barry Leisure Centre.  At the event there were many stalls showing services in the Vale of Glamorgan for children, young people and families.  I helped out at the Youth Service stall which offered fun activities for children, as well as raising awareness about the projects that it runs including the Youth Cabinet!  Although there were many more children than young people at the event, being able to talk to them and representatives from other organisations was beneficial.  I've been able to make plans to visit organisations in the future such as Rhoose Homework Club!

At the event I also had the opportunity to speak to the Council's Rural Regeneration Team and learn more about the Council's plans to improve broadband connectivity in the Vale.  This relates to my manifesto, and in the New Year I'm hoping to find out some more information from young people about what they want with regards to digital technology and digital connectivity. 

Monday, 4 December 2017

Emoji's celebration!

Last Thursday I attended the Emoji's presentation evening at the YMCA Barry.  I met with the Vale Youth Service staff who run the Emoji's project and support young people to develop confidence, self-esteem and learn to manage their emotions.  Along with the Deputy Vale Mayor, I presented certificates to the young people who had completed 10 weeks of creative work and watched a video showing what activities they had done. 

Afterwards I had the opportunity to meet the young people and talk about the project.  I also discussed the possibility of attending one of the sessions in the near future to learn more about the work they do and get involved in all the fun they have whilst on the project.   

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Youth Visits

It's really important we visit young people across the Vale and find out what's important to them.  We feel very lucky to visit three different places and meet lots of young people.

First of all we visited Ysgol Y Deri in Penarth.  We were invited by one of the Vale Youth Forum members from the school who is also a prefect.  Thank you Katie for the invitation!  We held a meeting with the prefects and gave a presentation about the role of the Youth Mayor and Vale Youth Forum.  The Diversity & Equality Officer from the Vale Youth Forum also came along and we spoke to the pupils about some important issues such as transport, litter and friendships.

Afterwards, we were given a tour of the school and had the opportunity to see the facilities.  We were all impressed with how technology had been integrated into lessons, and how specialist therapies and equipment had been designed and tailored to the needs of the pupils.  There was a hydrotherapy pool and VR facilities to provide vivid sensory education.  There was also a radio station and a TV studio and one pupil suggested filming an interview with the Youth Mayor - we think this is a great idea!

Our second visit was to the schools youth club at YYD which is run by the Vale Youth Service on a Monday and Wednesday, 3.30-5.30pm.  We spent some time with a group of young people talking to each other, playing pool and air hockey, and taking part in numerous other activities.  Although it was a quiet start the young people told us why they enjoy going to youth club and what matters to them.  We've also been invited back to the youth club next term to discuss our progress!

Our last visit of the night was to the Young Carers youth group at the YMCA, Barry.  This youth club is for young people who may care for a family member.  It was really interesting to meet them and learn about their caring responsibilities and how this impacts their life.  The great news is several young people were very interested in joining the Vale Youth Forum and representing the voices of Young Carers.  We look forward to seeing them at our next meeting in December!

It was such a good day and we're so lucky we got to meet lots of young people and tell them all about us.  We're looking forward to visiting more schools, youth clubs and youth groups soon.


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Pupil Well-being

Improving pupil well-being is something the youth cabinet feel very strongly about.  We know the difficulties young people face and the pressures we are under in schools, at home and with our friends, and it’s no wonder things can get too much for us to handle sometimes.

That’s why this week, as the Youth Mayor I attended the Pupil Well-being conference run by the Healthy Schools Network and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.  It was a very interesting event with a lot of information about ways schools and health services can support young people.

During the morning session I learnt about the way the council uses SELFIE, a tool to measure pupil well-being and how the results are used to gain an overall picture of pupil well-being and identify those who may need extra support.  There were also examples from Gladstone Primary school and Ysgol Gymraeg Bro Morgannwg about the amazing work they do in their school such as the CWTCH  Room and the Nurture Room.

During the afternoon I visited many stalls and made contact with organisations that will help the youth cabinet learn more about services available to us. We then had a presentation about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and watched the film Resilience which showed how ACES impact our lives.

I’m hoping to arrange for the youth cabinet to take a closer look at the SELFIE data which may help us in the work we do. After all, everyone wants young people to achieve the top grades but that’s only going to happen when young people want to learn and want to go school and are happy when they’re there.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Armistice Day 2017

It was a privilege to attend the Vale of Glamorgan Council Armistice Day ceremony to lay a wreath on behalf of young people in the county as well as pay our respects to those who fought for this country and sacrificed everything.  #Lestweforget 

UKYP 2017

The UK Youth Parliament met in the House of Commons today to discuss the top voted issues in the Make Your Mark campaign. Members of UK Youth Parliament (MYPs) attended the Annual Sitting, representing different regions and countries across the UK.  It was an honour to be part of the Welsh group and thanks to Young Wales for organising the two-day residential.  

The top 5 issues discussed were: Protect LGBT+ People; Votes at 16; Work Experience Hubs for 11-18 year olds; Transport; and A Curriculum for Life.  After hours of debates, with myself speaking about A Curriculum for Life, we voted for the national and devolved campaign priorities for 2018.

National priority - Votes at 16
Devolved priority - Curriculum for Life

Overall, it was an amazing experience and it was so interesting listening to MYPs talk about issues important to them and their constituents.  I, along with the other MYPs will try our hardest to make progress within these topics, especially as these two were also among the top voted issues within the Vale of Glamorgan.