Eleven young people from across the borough are ensuring that young adults’ voices are heard when it comes to important decision making after taking on the role as Young Advisors.
Young Advisors are young people aged 16 – 19 (up to 24 with additional needs) who are locally recruited and professionally trained by the Young Advisors Charity to provide links between professionals, young people and their communities, ensuring that plans and delivery are relevant and respected.
Since coming together in October 2016, the St Helens Young Advisors have been working on various projects, including the creation of a pocket-sized campaign leaflet which focuses on the dangers and laws of carrying knifes – and a three year young carer action plan which – once finalised – will be shared widely with young carers, schools and other partners.
St Helens Young Advisors have also been working with the TAZ (Teen Advice Zone) Team to become Young People Friendly (YPF) Assessors. The Young People Friendly Award is given to services that are welcoming to young people and achieve the award criteria. As Young People Friendly Assessors, the Young Advisors have been:
Moderating existing YPF services across St Helens
Supporting new services to achieve YPF status
Promoting the award with various health and wellbeing services and young people
Seeking new opportunities to engage with services
The group recently visited St Helens Town Hall for the official launch of St Helens Young Advisors where they presented their services to a number of councillors, council officers, and safety partners including Merseyside Police and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, who were impressed with what the Young Advisors had to say and offer.
Among those in attendance was St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Families, Young People and Education, who praised the group for the positive impact they have made in such a short space of time.
Councillor Jeanette Banks said: “It was fascinating to sit and listen to the work that our Young Advisors have undertaken, centred on topics that they care so passionately about.
“Young people have the power to shape our future, so it is vital that their thoughts and ideas are represented. St Helens Young Advisors allow this to happen, speaking out for young people and making sure their thoughts and feelings are considered in decisions that affect them.”