Your voice and opinions are the most important part of youth work and shape the support you receive – we call this Youth Voice.
You should be able to express yourself, know that your opinions count and that you can make changes in your own life and in the lives of others around you and your community.
Youth voice is there to inspire you to care and be interested in the world, other people and their lives. When you understand this and want to change things, your life is richer and you grow as a person.
Through youth voice, we engage you in activities and reflect on positive experiences and how they benefit you personally and society at large.
Youth voice is important to every service we deliver to young people, playing a part in everything from early help plans to children in need meetings and everything in between. This website would not exist without youth voice.
Youth voice is not only about you having your say, there are some big opportunities for young people in Sefton, including:
Sefton Youth Council
When you join the Sefton Youth Council you become part of a virtual network where you discuss the issues that matter to you in an online space.
Not all of the work of Sefton Youth Council takes place online – as part of the council you will organise events based on the opinions and feelings that young people share online, giving you a chance to meet local decision makers, movers and shakers to create positive change in your local community.
Sefton Youth Cabinet
Sefton Youth Cabinet campaigns to make life better for young people in Sefton.
The biggest campaign coordinated by young people in Sefton as part of the Youth Cabinet, is A Curriculum for Life, which was the big topic discussed at the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).
At the Youth Cabinet you will be listened to and have your opinions heard by key decision makers in Sefton.
If you want to become a Member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Sefton at the UKYP, you can put yourself forward as a candidate at cabinet meetings.
SYMBOL stands for Sefton Youth Making Better Opportunities with Leaders.
It gives you, as a young person playing an active role in your community, a direct line of communication with key decision makers, such as local councilors and senior managers at the Local Authority.
Through SYMBOL you can get involved in initiatives such as the Takeover Day, where young people have taken over parts of Sefton Council, such as running and organising its Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
The SELFIE project
SELFIE stands for Sefton Education for Life programme For Individual Empowerment.
It has been set up by young people using youth led funding. The aim is to involve young people in discussion and debate in relation to political issues. This means they can explore their values, attitudes and beliefs regarding issues that are important to them. It gives them the confidence and skills to identify how society functions and how they can help shape services and contribute to change.
As the project has evolved, young people have attended residential weekends and days, where young people referred to the service via the Safeguarding Hub take part in youth voice sessions.
UK Youth Parliament
The UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) is made up of Members of Youth Parliament (MYPs) from boroughs across the UK, aged 11-18 years of age.
MYPs come from lots of different backgrounds, whether they be individual candidates or those elected through local youth councils. The UKYP actively promotes the role to young people who are socially excluded or who have difficult life circumstances.
UKYP ensures that the young people of the UK are given a voice on any issue that affects them, as laid out in Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
UKYP gives the young people of the UK an opportunity to be involved in a democratic process at a national level.
UKYP empowers young people to take positive action within their local communities based upon issues of shared concern.
UKYP is a non-party political organisation, and as such, seeks to represent no party political view. UKYP is solely issue based.
In Sefton we have two Members of Youth Parliament that are elected through the youth cabinet.
Liverpool City Region Youth Assembly
Soon the Liverpool City Region (LCR) will have a new Metro Mayor, with more powers and control locally. As a young person you may not yet be of voting age, but that does not mean you can’t have a say or influence the priorities of the region with young people in mind.
The LCR Youth Assembly gives you the opportunity to influence decisions made and actions taken by the Metro Mayor- young people are already in discussions with Metro Mayor candidates to make sure the issues of local young people are heard and implemented in their campaigns and plans.
North West Youth Foria
The Youth Foria are meetings that take place across the North West where young people from different boroughs are supported by their local authorities to share the good work they are doing to support fellow young people.
Representing Sefton as part of the Youth Foria, you will take part in workshops where you make sure the voices of minority groups are heard, including LGBTQ and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).