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People and communities

York Youth Council projects

York Youth Council (YYC) work to empower young people to have a voice and influence decision makers.

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Youth Council consultations

In the future, the Youth Council want to 'work better' with local authorities to:

  • achieve goals
  • deliver on the mandates provided in the ‘Make Your Mark’ ballots
  • tackle local issues that young people care about

YYC believes that the amount of consultation undertaken with other local authorities needs to increase, and more consistently guide the strategy used to implement their campaigns and schemes.

To do this, they are:

  • building stronger links with ward councillors and council executives to seek support on campaigns related to their portfolios
  • seeking closer links with corporate directors to guide strategies for campaigns
  • establishing closer links with the York Schools Board to help promote campaigns, their role and their work

Moving forward, despite delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, YYC will maintain such links, and strengthen them, whilst improving and extending means of consultation with the young people YYC represents.

Issues around public transport within the city is something YYC have recently been in contact with First buses about; the local transport executive will also be consulted on this matter.

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York Youth Council outreach and engagement

The main goals for YYC related to outreach and engagement are:

  • improving our visibility and openness as a youth authority
  • increasing the extent of local engagement in the Make Your Mark ballots (issued in September each year)

Visibility and openness of York Youth Council

YYC’s visibility and openness about work undertaken needs to improve. Standard set by other youth council (in cities such as Manchester) show a need to engage with the young people in the local area, to be effective representatives.

While YYC already interacts with schools, better and stronger links with pupils and students must be built, rather than just engaging with the schools they attend. To support this YYC aim to improve their online and physical presence within schools.

Online, YYC has aims to:

  • publish minutes of YYC meetings, so that young people of the city know what's happening
  • make it easy for people to contact YYC, to provide their own contributions for discussion, or to hold YYC to account as a representative
  • establish consistent communication with young people on various existing social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube)
  • explore the use of video and digital art in campaigns to spread awareness about our activities

YYC believe our pursuit of ‘open government’ to be vital to engagement with the young people they represent.

Local engagement in 'Make Your Mark' ballots

YYC want to encourage large scale participation in local, young person’s democracy.

They campaign for as many of the 63 schools in the city as possible, to participate in the Make Your Mark ballot. This is an annual vote held by UK Youth Parliament that aims to outline which issues are most important to young people.

In future, YYC will utilise new campaign strategies alongside their plans for openness and engagement to increase the number of schools in York taking part.

YYC work closely with the council and school boards to promote Make Your Mark.

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York Youth Council campaigns

The main focus of YYC's campaigns is taken from the results of annual 'Make Your Mark' ballots.

York Youth Council campaign to protect the environment

The primary focus of the York Youth Council’s campaigns is protecting the environment, we are:

  • proposing solutions on a local and individual level
  • looking at solutions rooted in the seemingly mundane daily actions of individuals, and the day-to-day conduct of organisations
  • reduce the impact of local pollution and littering.

York Youth Council have planned a range of environmentally-focused schemes to involve schools, local businesses, ward councillors wards and communities.

The 'York Eco-Brick Campaign’ is a local project, relating to the global Eco-Brick initiative which involves creating sustainable building resources from non-recyclable plastic, to be distributed across the globe, contributing to valuable infrastructure, internationally. YYC will coordinate with schools, and experiment with new mediums for this engagement, such as videos and digital art.

YYC's collaboration with Make It York looks to implement a scheme with encourages customers to re-use bags and cups at local businesses, ;to receive a small discount and reduce disposable items; similar initiatives have already been successful in Leeds. YYC aims to launch a ‘York Environment Card’ (to record customers' re-use instances) in support of this scheme.

York Youth Council mental health campaign

Campaigning for good mental health is important to YYC, especially within schools.

The maintenance of good mental wellbeing is one of the greatest struggles amongst young people today, with more than 1 in 4 people suffering from some form of poor mental health, and 1 in 10 suffering from a form of diagnosable mental illness.

The Youth Council works with local health and social care executives, and with Minding Minds to make sure that schools have their own mental health awareness groups and organise their own respective campaigns.

In future, YYC will work to involve as many York schools as possible in mental health wellbeing initiatives.

York Youth Council's involvement with the '12 Moves Plan'

YYC are working with officers in City of York Council to implement 'York’s 12 Moves', a contingency plan to make York a more inclusive city.

The 12 Moves Plan aims to work with local schools across the city, and to gain support from members of the Equalities and Communities Teams, as well as council executives.

The 12 Moves Plan helps YYC to deliver their mandate to tackle hate crime, from the ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot in 2019.

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2019 'Make Your Mark' results

Read York Youth Council's report on the 2019 'Make Your Mark' ballot, the annual national consultation (since 2011) which gives young people a say on what will be debated by Members of UK Youth Parliament. This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology; request an accessible format.

The Make Your Mark ballot is supported by local authorities, schools, UK Parliament, Fledglink and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. It gives young people across the country a say on what is to be debated in the House of Commons by Members of Youth Parliament.

Following the debate, the top issues are brought to the attention of Government Ministers, including those with responsibility for youth policy.

YYC work is guided by the 'top voted' issues in the Make Your Mark ballot as well as issues identified as 'top issues' by young people in the local area.

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UK Youth Parliament

YYCl supports local schools and youth organisations in York to take part in the national UK Youth Parliament ‘Make Your Mark’ ballot.

In 2022, young people from York voted 'top issues' as:

  • environment
  • health and wellbeing
  • jobs
  • money
  • homes
  • opportunities

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Also see

York Youth Council

West Offices, Station Rise, York YO1 6GA