Following on from the fieldwork, the Your Voice Matters event, attended by 100 young people, provided fresh impetus for young people to share experiences on issues that affect them (see below).
- Educational Inequalities;
- Child Poverty/impact of austerity;
- Children and Young People’s Mental Health;
- Community Safety;
- Children’s rights / participation.
A key focus of the event was to explore and record potential actions for NICCY’s ongoing engagement with young people.
Our Voice Matters
The event marked the transition from NICCY engaging with Children and Young People (C&YP) in ensuring they know that ‘Your Voice Matters’ to young people speaking for themselves and asserting ‘Our Voice Matters’.
At the event the young people themselves, through their school or youth organisation, volunteered to take action and raise awareness of the issues they thought were important. These actions cover all the issues mentioned above and details can be found here. NICCY will ‘check in’ with Participants on a regular basis to see how they are getting along and offer support as appropriate.
What will NICCY do?
During the event, the Young People suggested a number of things NICCY could do to help tackle the 4 issues being discussed. The following have been included in NICCY’s 2016-’17 Business Plan:
- Work with them to develop a vision for the Northern Ireland education system;
- Establish a C&YP Advisory Group to work on child poverty issues;
- Work with C&YP affected by issues relating to the continuing legacy of the conflict;
- Work with them in advising government to deliver effective mental health and wellbeing services;
- To continue the ‘Our Voice Matters’ engagement programme to facilitate their voice in the development of NICCY’s new Corporate Plan 2017-‘20.