12 May 2009

Commissioner recruiting new Youth Panel members 

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, is looking for new members for the NICCY Youth Panel to help her in her work.

The Panel is made up of 25 young people from a wide range of backgrounds across Northern Ireland, aged from 12 – 18 years, or up to 21 if a young person has a disability or is in care.

One of the main functions of the Panel is to help advise and assist the Commissioner on key issues in her work of safeguarding and promoting the rights and best interests of children and young people.

Panel members are also involved in a range of key tasks within the organisation, from recruiting new staff to designing the website and publications, from helping influence and develop policy to hosting conferences and making presentations.

There are also opportunities to meet directly with government officials and Ministers, enabling young people to ask questions to key decision makers and ensure their voice is heard.

17-year-old Megan O’Kane has been a member of the NICCY Youth Panel since April 1 2006 and believes it has helped further develop her skills and given her the confidence to speak up about the issues that affect her life.

“As a member of NICCY’s Youth Panel, I have the chance to do a number of things that young people wouldn’t normally have, such as, media training, interviewing for new staff and youth panel members, speaking at events and conferences and meeting with government ministers and young people from other organisations,” said Megan.

“Lots of young people may think they don’t know anything about their rights - I didn’t when I first joined the NICCY Youth Panel - but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a say in the issues that affect your life.

“Even if you are shy or most outspoken person in your class, group of friends or local community, your opinions are still important regardless of how you choose to get your point across.

“I can’t begin to explain how great it feels when I see other young people’s lives change for the better because of work that we have done,” said Megan.

The Commissioner is looking for a number of new recruits.

“I want my Youth Panel to be as representative as possible of young people in our society,” said Ms Lewsley.

“This recruitment process is an opportunity to open our doors to an even greater range of young people from across Northern Ireland,” said Ms Lewsley.

Commissioner Recruiting New Youth Panel Members

NORTHERN Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Patricia Lewsley, is looking for new members for the NICCY Youth Panel to help her in her work.

The Panel is made up of 25 young people from a wide range of backgrounds across Northern Ireland, aged from 12 – 18 years, or up to 21 if a young person has a disability or is in care.

One of the main functions of the Panel is to help advise and assist the Commissioner on key issues in her work of safeguarding and promoting the rights and best interests of children and young people.

Panel members are also involved in a range of key tasks within the organisation, from recruiting new staff to designing the website and publications, from helping influence and develop policy to hosting conferences and making presentations.

There are also opportunities to meet directly with government officials and Ministers, enabling young people to ask questions to key decision makers and ensure their voice is heard.

17-year-old Megan O’Kane has been a member of the NICCY Youth Panel since April 1 2006 and believes it has helped further develop her skills and given her the confidence to speak up about the issues that affect her life.

“As a member of NICCY’s Youth Panel, I have the chance to do a number of things that young people wouldn’t normally have, such as, media training, interviewing for new staff and youth panel members, speaking at events and conferences and meeting with government ministers and young people from other organisations,” said Megan.

“Lots of young people may think they don’t know anything about their rights - I didn’t when I first joined the NICCY Youth Panel - but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a say in the issues that affect your life.

“Even if you are shy or most outspoken person in your class, group of friends or local community, your opinions are still important regardless of how you choose to get your point across.

“I can’t begin to explain how great it feels when I see other young people’s lives change for the better because of work that we have done,” said Megan.

The Commissioner is looking for a number of new recruits.

“I want my Youth Panel to be as representative as possible of young people in our society,” said Ms Lewsley.

“This recruitment process is an opportunity to open our doors to an even greater range of young people from across Northern Ireland,” said Ms Lewsley.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES For more information please contact Andrew McGall, Communication Officer at NICCY on 028 9031 1616 or   communications@niccy.org